On Wednesday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak joined 37 other states in issuing a statewide stay-at-home order for Nevadans.
The directive will affect Nevada’s 3 million residents and asks them not to leave their homes except for essential trips, like grocery shopping, health visits, or engagement in outdoor recreation. It urges Nevadans not to congregate in groups of more than 10, and not to use this time to visit friends and engage in hangouts.
The order has been put into place to help flatten the curve of the coronavirus spread in the Silver State.
With Nevada now joining the majority of the other states, which includes some of America’s largest cities, in enacting the stay-at-home order, over 75% of the U.S. population is in an official coronavirus quarantine.
In a statement, Sisolak advised that this new directive “strengthens the imperative that Nevadans must not leave their homes for nonessential activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. This directive builds on previous directives around school closures, social distancing, closure of nonessential businesses, and bans on public gatherings of 10 or more people by requiring you stay at home unless leaving is absolutely necessary.”
Governor Also Activates National Guard
During his Wednesday press conference, Gov. Sisolak also announced that he activated the National Guard’s help as part of measures to deal with the pandemic.
According to Nevada National Guard Maj. Gen. Ondra Berry, who was in attendance during the briefing, said the activation order put them in alignment with what’s already going on around the country.
He also assured those with critical jobs, like first responders and medical personnel, that their jobs wouldn’t be taken away as a result of the order.
“Probably the biggest thing that will be important is the logistics standpoint,” Berry explained. “There are so many people who are providing supplies, (personal protective equipment), giving us support, and so we will help with that.”
How States Can Maintain Control of the Troops
In order for a state to gain access to the troops, the state must be under Title 32 status. President Trump has since placed 12 states and territories under Title 32 status.
What does Title 32 status require?
Among other requirements, the state must make a major disaster declaration made for the outbreak response or have the Federal Emergency Management Agency review their request while explaining how they plan to use the troops.
Guards That Have Been Deployed Around the Country
In New York, the hardest-hit state, there are more than 27,000 guards on the ground in the country’s coronavirus epicenter. They’ve been setting up temporary hospitals, helping deliver vital supplies, clearing out roads, taking coronavirus samples to test centers and helping out at call centers.
In Michigan, there are around 3,000 troops who have been helping operate mobile screening centers, distributing food and medical supplies, and sanitizing public spaces.
In Arizona, a group of 19 National Guard troops assisted in building a 50-bed federal medical station this past Sunday night.
In Iowa, eight troops help to set up two tents at the Department of Veterans Affairs, which serves to screen people who might have contracted the virus.
In Pennsylvania, 25 troops worked to unload equipment at the Federal Emergency Management Agency in order to build a non-coronavirus overflow clinic at one of the state’s shut down schools.
In West Virginia, around 350 guard members have helped deliver medical supplies to various healthcare facilities, as well as educating members from different sectors, like retail stores, restaurants, and convenience stores, on the importance of protective measures.
Expectations for Staying-At-Home
The new stay-at-home order carries over the Governor’s original directive to only allow essential trips like buying groceries, doctor visits, and outdoor recreation.
Essential trips should keep social distancing guidelines in practice, which ask people to maintain 6 feet of distance at all times, even outdoors. Besides household members, the order asks for people not to congregate in groups.
The order, however, doesn’t prevent people from picking up food through drive-thru restaurants or curbside pickup. This way, the local restaurant industry can still be supported by residents throughout this period of closure.
Those who work for essential businesses are still permitted to go to work with the order, of course. The order does exempt homeless people from the stringent stay-at-home requirements, while still asking unhoused individuals to maintain the required distance of space from one another.
The Governor’s latest directive comes a day after he issued an urgent request asking all visiting or returning travelers to Nevada to self-quarantine for 14 days to reduce the risk of potentially spreading the risk.
Urging Residents to Take Social Distancing Seriously
The Governor’s latest order comes on the heels of the federal government extending social distancing guidelines nationally to April 30, but also from his extended frustration that some Nevada residents weren’t taking social distancing and self-isolation seriously.
“We’re asking our citizens to cooperate,” Gov. Sisolak urged. “You’ve seen it before. I’ve had to ask, and then I’ve had to direct. You know, I am asking people to stay home for Nevada. Our law enforcement officers are busy dealing with everything that we’ve put in place.”
He added that “it’s frustrating when I drive around town, whether it’s up here or in Southern Nevada, and I see 10 kids at a basketball court.”
For Nevadans that work in essential businesses, ranging from grocery store clerks, delivery drivers, emergency responders, doctors, and nurses, who have to remain in daily contact with people, the Governor recognized their immense sacrifice and offered his thanks in the 35-minute briefing.
He touched on the fact that many of these workers, like delivery truck drivers or grocery store stockers, never anticipated putting their lives in the line of danger when they got the job, but that they’ve been “stepping up to help our state,” and he’s asking every Nevadan to do the same.
How Self-Quarantining Helps Flatten the Curve
While staying home for the past few weeks has been tough for many Americans, it really is for the greater good.
When more people stay at home, away from the general public, it greatly reduces the spread of infection and helps to effectively “flatten the curve.”
It’s not that self-quarantining helps to reduce the total amount of people who catch COVID-19, but it works to slow the rate it which they do get sick.
It’s expected that the worst of the pandemic will be seen within the next two weeks, which makes self-quarantining even more vital to order to help contain the spread of the outbreak as much as possible.
According to Drew Harris, a population health researcher and assistant professor at The Thomas Jefferson University College of Public Health, closing down public spaces helps effectively control people’s desires to be in public spaces. When the opportunities for gatherings are reduced, it helps people social distance properly.
Major Cities in Self-Quarantine
Currently, 270 million Americans are being asked to stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
One of the first states to enact the stay-at-home order was New York, where the virus began spreading rapidly once it hit U.S. shores. Most recently, Washington D.C. has joined the list of major cities to issue a stay-at-home order.
Other major cities under lockdown include Austin, Dallas, Houston, and Salt Lake City.
This type of order also helps to prevent healthcare systems from getting overwhelmed. The more people who stay at home, the less likely they are to contract the virus.
Only five states have no standing ordering from the state or local governments asking them to stay home. Those states are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, and South Dakota.
With 90% of Americans under self-quarantine, we estimated it won’t be too long for the last remaining states to follow suit. Be sure to check back for more COVID-19 updates. Stay safe and sane out there during this troubling time.