Governor Steve Sisolak (D) finally began rolling back Nevada’s recent waves of reopenings with his announcement that most bars that do not serve food must close tomorrow night.
And in a fiery clap-back to critics who’ve accused him of not doing enough to avoid severe budget cuts that the Legislature is considering during its special session, Sisolak said about Republican legislators, “No one has presented any ideas to me on how to raise revenue.”
July 10 (1:10 PM) UPDATE: Seven counties must close bars and other alcohol businesses to the public, including Clark and Washoe.
Sisolak’s office has just released more information on the new order to close bars tonight. Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, and Nye Counties will also need to close to the general public traditional bars along with wineries, breweries, pubs, taverns, and other alcohol-serving businesses that do not offer food. This order takes effect at 11:59 PM tonight.
Nevada Health Response points to its COVID-19 data to explain why these seven counties must roll back on some “Phase Two” reopenings. You can read Sisolak’s full order here, and we will continue to monitor the state’s COVID-19 response and relief efforts in the days ahead.
“Please protect our state. Protect our families. Protect our neighbors. Wear masks.”
– Governor Steve Sisolak
Just since yesterday, Nevada’s COVID-19 stats have taken another turn for the worse. Just today, Clark County reported 14 COVID-19 deaths while Washoe County announced four. This has been Nevada’s most lethal day in COVID-19 related deaths since April 22.
According to Covid Act Now, Nevada’s COVID-19 infection rate remains alarmingly high, as one infected person infects every 1.22 other people on average. Meanwhile, Covid Act Now also estimates that Nevada can still only contact trace 11% of current infections within 48 hours. And according to Covid Act Now, the official Nevada Health Response database, and The Nevada Independent, overall hospitalizations along with ICU occupancy and ventilator use remain on the rise.
While Sisolak reported the statewide mask rule compliance rate has risen to 79% this week, he lamented the fact that just over ⅕ of businesses are still not fully complying. So during today’s last-minute press conference, Sisolak declared, “Masks are not partisan. They’re not political. They’re not funny. It is costing lives when people do not wear masks.” He continued, “Please protect our state. Protect our families. Protect our neighbors. Wear masks.”
“As of 11:59 PM tomorrow, bars in certain counties in Nevada will be returning to similar rules that we saw in ‘Phase One’.”
– Governor Steve Sisolak
WATCH: Nevada Gov. Sisolak giving Nevadans a COVID-19 update from Carson City. | https://bit.ly/2BTf2o8
Posted by KTNV Channel 13 Action News on Thursday, July 9, 2020
Because the state’s COVID-19 stats are worsening again, and because federal health officials have recently urged him to take further action, Sisolak just announced a partial rollback to “Phase One” level closures. More specifically, Sisolak announced, “As of 11:59 PM tomorrow, bars in certain counties in Nevada will be returning to similar rules that we saw in ‘Phase One’.”
While Sisolak did not specify all the counties will have to close bars that do not serve food, he confirmed that the bars listed for mandatory closure will include those in Nevada’s most populous and most pandemic-afflicted counties: Clark and Washoe. Even if they also have gaming licenses, these bars must still close tomorrow night.
Yet while Sisolak refrained from ordering any restaurant closures or closures of other high-risk businesses, he ordered restaurants not to serve any more parties larger than six as he also reminded Nevadans that they must continue to wear face coverings in restaurants, casinos, gyms, and elsewhere. As Sisolak put it, “Unless you are actively walking into a pool, walking out of a pool, or swimming inside a pool, you must be wearing a face mask at all times.”
“[Republican legislators] have my phone number. No one has called me. No one has presented any ideas to me on how to raise revenue.”
– Governor Steve Sisolak
Since Sisolak held this impromptu press conference just steps away from the Nevada Legislature, he also fielded questions about the 31st Special Session. When it comes to his proposed budget cuts that have been widely panned across the ideological spectrum, Sisolak retorted, “These proposals are not ones that officials in my office have proposed lightly. These reductions will be difficult to live with.”
He then called for the Trump administration and Congressional Republicans to work with Democrats to pass a new relief package to help Nevada and state and municipal authorities in the rest of the nation avoid such severe cuts. Meanwhile closer to home, Sisolak fired back at State Senator Ben Kieckhefer’s (R-Reno) recent accusations that Sisolak and Democratic legislative leaders have not reached out to him regarding any potential deal to raise any taxes.
When asked about Kieckhefer’s claim and other accusations that Sisolak is not trying to avert such severe cuts, Sisolak responded, “[Republican legislators] have my phone number. No one has called me. No one has presented any ideas to me on how to raise revenue.” And on any possible deal to raise certain revenue sources like the Commerce Tax, the Modified Business Tax, and alcohol and tobacco and marijuana “sin taxes”, Sisolak said, “I’m hopeful that they will, but I will leave it up to the Legislature to make that call.”