Today, Governor Steve Sisolak (D) hopped onto the Nevada Health Response press call to speak about the current state of the state’s COVID-19 containment and recovery efforts. While Nevada’s current numbers remain low, Sisolak indicated that state officials continue to monitor our stats to determine what kind of fallout we experience from Labor Day Weekend and President Donald Trump’s recent visit.
First, let’s take another look at Nevada’s latest COVID-19 stats.
Gov. Steve Sisolak discusses measures to help the public with housing stability amid the COVID-19 public health crisis next to State Treasurer Zach Conine, from left, and Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford, right, at a press conference at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas, Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Pool) @rookie__rae
Keep in mind that many of these are lagging indicators, so it may take a few more days to determine how much of an impact Labor Day Weekend and President Donald Trump’s campaign rallies made. Now with all that said, the official Nevada Health Response database and The Nevada Independent’s tracking page still show new COVID-19 infections at June-level lows. And according to Covid Act Now, Nevada’s infection rate remains at a low 0.82, or every 100 COVID-19 infections leading to another 82 new infections. Infection rates are above the state average in Douglas County (0.87), Washoe County (0.97), and Carson City (1.02), but below the state average in Clark (0.79), Nye (0.78), and Elko (0.63) Counties.
With 483 total (confirmed and suspected) COVID-19 hospitalizations, that stat also continues to hover around June-level lows. Nevada’s cumulative test positivity rate remains at 11.5%, and the seven-day average continues to hover just above 10%. Keep in mind that this is still over double the WHO’s recommended 5% test positivity benchmark for safe reopening, but this does mark major improvement from the worst days of our “summer surge”.
Nevada has recorded another 28 deaths today, bringing the state’s total COVID-19 death toll to 1,484. While the daily death counts fluctuate plenty, the seven-day average of daily deaths has mostly remained in the 10-15 range.
“People want to know the truth. People can handle the truth. The people deserve a federal government that tells the truth.”
– Governor Steve Sisolak, on President Donald Trump privately admitting the severity of COVID-19 to Bob Woodward
Gov. Steve Sisolak discusses measures to help the public with housing stability amid the COVID-19 public health crisis at a press conference at the Grant Sawyer Building in Las Vegas, Sunday, March 29, 2020. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal/Pool) @rookie__rae
During today’s press call, Governor Steve Sisolak (D) confirmed he sent a letter to the White House COVID-19 Task Force expressing his disapproval over Trump’s rallies in Minden and Henderson last weekend. On the potential fallout, Sisolak warned that from what he saw at Trump’s events, “They were not wearing masks. They were not social distancing. […] Yes, I expect an increase in COVID-19.”
And in response to a question on Trump admitting to The Washington Post’s Bob Woodward in February that “this is deadly stuff” while publicly denying the severity of COVID-19, Sisolak fired back, “That’s not fair. People want to know the truth. People can handle the truth. The people deserve a federal government that tells the truth.”
Following another round of Trump contradicting the vast majority of medical experts on COVID-19 at an ABC News town hall last night, Sisolak stressed, “We have learned over the past six months that we can not let our guard down.” But when asked whether Douglas County’s government will face any consequences for rubber-stamping Trump’s Minden rally, Sisolak only said that his office and Attorney General Aaron Ford’s (D) office are reviewing the rules and conditions on the CARES Act funding that the state turns over to Douglas County along with the state’s new SB 4 health safety law.
“Our success will hinge on Nevadans to take this seriously and remain vigilant, and on our visitors to take this seriously and remain vigilant.”
– Governor Steve Sisolak
Photo provided by the Office of Governor Steve Sisolak
Though state health officials anxiously await new numbers to determine whether Labor Day revelers and Trump rally-goers cause another spike in COVID-19 infections, Nevada’s current numbers have come so low that Connecticut, New York, and New Jersey have taken Nevada off their respective lists of states where residents and visitors must quarantine for 14 days upon arriving there from here. On this development, Sisolak proclaimed, “This did not happen by chance. It happened because of the hard work of Nevadans.”
Sisolak then reiterated his earlier suggestion that the state may loosen more health safety restrictions if our COVID-19 stats justify such changes. He then called on Nevadans and tourists to continue to take proper precautions if they want this to actually happen: “Our numbers are getting lower. I want to continue that trend and stay that way. We do not want to see another spike.” And he added, “Our success will hinge on Nevadans to take this seriously and remain vigilant, and on our visitors to take this seriously and remain vigilant.”
If you’re in need of medical treatment, contact your primary health care provider first. If you fear you can’t afford treatment from a hospital or doctor’s office, check with the Southern Nevada Health District, Washoe County Health District, Carson City Health and Human Services, or the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services for resources in your area. For additional aid, check the Nevada Current’s and Battle Born Progress’ resource guides. If you can afford proper treatment and you are fortunate enough to help others in need, please donate to larger operations like Direct Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and to local groups like Three Square.