Going into week three of quarantine, there are 869 positive COVID-19 cases and 23 deaths coming out of Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District’s Monday, March 30 report.
The total number of cases throughout the state is 1,113 as of Tuesday morning.
So far, 11,800 people have been tested, and 10,681 people have come back with negative results, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services reports.
#COVID19 update for Tuesday in #ClarkCounty. The @SNHDinfo is reporting 8 new deaths for a total of 23 in the area due to #Coronavirus. There are now a total of 869 #COVIDー19 cases.#Vegas #StayHomeForNevada to keep our community safe. #AllInThisTogether pic.twitter.com/fqCOmE0qtW
— Clark County Nevada (@ClarkCountyNV) March 31, 2020
Just two days ago, President Trump at his press conference extended the federal government’s guidelines for social distancing until April 30. Those guidelines deeply encourage people to stay at home whenever possible, and not gather in groups of more than 10.
With federal instruction and expert advice, Gov. Sisolak will be waiting to make a move based on what experts deem is best in the growing situation surrounding the virus outbreak:
“No one can estimate right now what our peak is going to be and when the curve is going to start to flatten, much less go down,” said Gov. Steve Sisolak. “A lot of folks will get the virus and they will self-resolve with varying degrees, is what I’m being told of the effect on them of symptoms.”
Preventing an Overwhelmed Local Health Care System
The unknown nature of the COVID-19 virus, in regards to how quickly it would spread and move around the state, let alone country, was the primary motivation behind the closure of casinos, nonessential businesses, and schools.
Gov. Sisolak feared that a rapid spread of the outbreak would overwhelm the local health care system, which wouldn’t have the supplies or manpower available to meet a growing need for care.
When asked if hospitals had enough supplies, Sisolak explained:
“No, they don’t have enough supplies. We don’t have enough beds, and we have too many people who are going to need beds, and it’s gonna increase from here,” says Sisolak. “They don’t have enough PPE’s (personal protective equipment), as we call it, and you’ve seen it – the gowns, the gloves, and the masks. We’ve asked the federal government for these. We put in two large orders. We got 25% of one order; we got zero of the second order.”
Private Sector Donating Helpful Supplies
Even while their industry has been hit, private sector companies, like casinos and businesses (who remain closed during the shutdown) have donated supplies that they’re not using.
Those helpful supplies include boxes of gloves, masks, and hand sanitizers that they’re delivering to local hospitals and other places.
“All the folks that have salons and construction companies and restaurants are donating a case here and 50 here, and 20 here and 100 here,” Sisolak said. “A lot of it we’re getting from the generosity of the community.”
Governor Relying on Sound Medical Advice, not Politician’s Pleas
While the Nevada Governor took swift action in shutting the city down for a minimum of 30 days to prevent the spread of COVID-19, some politicians, including Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman, says that length of time is “too long” and could destroy Nevada’s economy.
“Unfortunately, I’ve known the mayor a long time, and I don’t need politicians weighing in on what the best date would be. I need doctors and medically sound advice,” Governor Sisolak advised.
The Governor says he wants the economy to open up as quickly as possible, that he doesn’t want “people out of work one day longer,” but that he will only allow the state to open back up once he gets the medical “all clear.”
The Unemployed Will Get Help, Slowly but Surely
It’s clear that Nevada’s economy has bore the brunt of the outbreak more so than any other city in the US.
With a city that’s built on tourism and casino industry workers, it’s meant that hundreds of thousands of casino employees are out of work, and the many individuals who work in nonessential businesses across the state.
The number of people who have recently applied for Nevada’s unemployment system was an unprecedented amount, which, to no surprise, recently overwhelmed the system.
In the last week alone, 93,036 applications were received. It absolutely shattered the previous state high of 9,000 claims filed in a week during the first week of January in 2009, during the Great Recession.
But officials have promised that for those who have trouble getting through the system or filing immediately, that they will not lose out on any benefits regardless of when they’re able to get through the system and file.
Governor Says State Is Doing All They Can to Help
Governor Sisolak wants to assure Nevadans that the state is doing everything they can to offset the financial burden that’s been caused by the coronavirus closures.
“We’ve extended the hours, we’ve added people to our unemployment, and I’ll tell you what, our folks are working day and night, day and night to solve these problems. I know they need the money. I know we’re working hard on that and in time we’re gonna get to everybody,” Sisolak says.
As you can see, it’s impossible to tell when casinos will be opening back up in Nevada, despite the expected reopening date of April 16. What’s clear, however, is that Nevada’s Governor will make the decision to do so when it’s the most medically-advised safe time.