LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — During a press conference Sunday evening, Governor Steve Sisolak announced he is extending the current “statewide pause” through Jan. 15. This comes as COVID-19 cases continue to surge across Nevada as we get closer to the Christmas and New Year’s holidays.
While test positivity is starting to decline slightly in Nevada, 2882 new cases were reported Sunday, along with 19 new deaths in the state.
8 News Now has been following COVID-19 trends since March. You can find Sunday’s report HERE.
Governor Sisolak also announced a new eviction moratorium will be going into place until the end of March. That goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on December 15.
The moratorium will not prohibit certain evictions, including lease breaches for things like unlawful activity. This will only apply for tenants who are not able to pay rent.
The governor says the hope is that this moratorium will keep more people in their homes and help stop the spread in Nevada.
For an overview of the “statewide pause” guidelines, see the graphic below:
While Governor Sisolak mentioned the possibility of having to take more drastic steps if case numbers continue to rise, he also spent a portion of his press conference outlining the “balancing act” Nevada is facing with keeping the economy up and running while protecting citizens.
Due to previous closures this year and a downtick in tourism to the state, Governor Sisolak says the state has emptied its “rainy day fund” and CARES Act funding is set to expire at the end of the year. The governor warned that returning to full stay-at-home restrictions would be “as bad, or worse, than the Great Depression” for Nevada.
“Prioritizing our economy or our health is a false choice for our State. If you don’t have a job, if you can’t provide for your family, if you lose your home, if the State has no safety net to help, people will not be healthy,” Governor Sisolak said. “These aren’t binary choices. This is incredibly complex, and I think about it every day.”
The Governor also pointed to the lack of a national plan as a reason for Nevada struggling through the pandemic.
“More than nine months ago, the federal government handed the States the responsibility of dealing with this global pandemic. They told the states to deal with it, so we did,” Governor Sisolak said. “For 9 months we’ve heard that reinforcements and aircover is on the way… just hang tight. But we don’t see any planes flying overhead.”
Governor Sisolak also touched on the topic of the COVID-19 vaccine arriving in the state this week, saying it should be a source of hope for Nevadans.
“The vaccine should be here tomorrow, and I would have no problem whether it be my mother, my sister, my kids, my wife getting the vaccine,” Governor Sisolak said. “I’m confident in the safety and the efficacy of the vaccine and am encouraging people to take part and receive the vaccine.”
With major holidays right around the corner, Governor Sisolak was asked is he thinks it is safe for people to visit Nevada, and more specifically Las Vegas, over the next few weeks.
While the “statewide pause” is now extended through January 15, Governor Sisolak said there is a chance he could give another news conference prior to that date.
WATCH THE GOVERNOR’S FULL NEWS CONFERENCE BELOW: