Yesterday, the Nevada governor and his team of experts appeared on an evening press conference on Tuesday to advise Nevadans of their plan to reopen the state.
There is no clear reopening date as of now, while the stay-at-home directive still remains in place through April 30. However, Gov. Steve Sisolak did reveal their plan to reopen Nevada once a series of phases are met.
Before detailing the phases, Sisolak thanked Nevada residents for their commitment to staying home, expressing the big part they’ve played in “saving lives” across the Silver State.
Sisolak and his team also explained how the aggressive they took to shut down casinos and nonessential businesses helped to flatten the curve and avoid an even higher number of cases.
Right now, Nevada has 3,937 COVID-19 cases and 163 deaths. Sisolak and his team believe that if they didn’t take action to shut down the state, those numbers would be in the tens of thousands.
At the press conference, Sisolak touched on the “reopening framework” in detail, explaining that one phase must be met in entirety before heading into the next phase.
What that means, of course, is that there is no definitive date for reopening until the following measures are met. Sisolak says that while we are in a much better spot than we were six weeks ago, as of right now, we are in Phase Zero.
In order to move into Phase One, the following conditions must be met first:
- A consistent, and sustainable, downward trajectory and decrease of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over a 14-day period, as well as a decreased percentage of individuals testing positive.
- Healthcare facilities and Public Health Systems being able to maintain their capacities without resorting to their crisis standards of care, as well as having an adequate health workforce capacity to administer care and tests to patients.
- A sustained capability to protect vulnerable populations, in a way that outbreaks will be successfully contained in proper spaces such as health facilities and nursing homes.
Once criteria are measured and met in Phase Zero, the state can move onto Phase Two. The following guidance is being recommended for all individuals:
- All vulnerable individuals should continue to shelter in place. Updated guidance will be given throughout this time.
- Nonessential travel will still be recommended, with Nevada’s travel advisory remaining in place.
- Individuals are being urged to continue using a face-covering whenever out in public.
- Bars will remain closed.
- Gatherings of 10 or more are still being prohibited in this phase.
Under Further Review
Specific guidance was also provided for certain employees and employers, including businesses and events that have been canceled because of the state of emergency.
Sisolak’s team is still encouraging employers to continue having their staff members work from home and bring them back to the workspace in phases as well.
The reopening of larger venues, such as restaurants, movie theaters, gyms, and places of worship, as still under review and will not be considered further until the phases have been met.
During the press conference, Sisolak’s team showed diagrams to compare the White House’s recommendations versus the state’s and where the two aligned and where the two differed.
School’s Out for the Rest of the Year
Sisolak announced their decision to keep schools closed for the rest of the school year, with distance learning remaining in place. The decision was made based on federal recommendations.
The Nevada Department of Education said they’ve been working with Sisolak and the U.S. Department of Education to provide flexibility within districts to make distance learning work during this time.
That includes waivers being provided on the federal and State level for assessment requirements and guidance so that high school seniors will be able to graduate on-time.
While many Nevadans are eager to reopen, we have more of a baseline on when that date will be, should these important measures be met first.
What do you think of Sisolak’s plan in reopening Nevada? Share your thoughts with us below.
As always, please stay safe, healthy, and inside!