LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Gov. Steve Sisolak released prepared remarks on Phase 2 of Nevada’s Roadmap to Recovery and said the state is slated to enter Phase 2 of reopening on Friday, May 29.
Additional items of note include:
- Number of people allowed to attend public and private gatherings will be increased to no more than 50, while keeping social distancing guidelines in place
- Nevada’s vulnerable populations should continue to shelter in place
- Employees will continue to be required to wear a face covering
- Businesses operating in Phase 2 must abide by measures set forth by OSHA and other authorities
- Gyms, movie theaters, swimming pools and spas may reopen with restrictions
- Bars that do not serve food may reopen, keeping at 50% capacity
Youth sports will also resume “at some point” during Phase 2. It’s important to note that each phase lasts about 2-3 weeks, so youth recreation could be right around the corner.
And while the governor is still encouraging virtual services, house of worship can also reopen for gatherings with a maximum of 50 people.
Sisolak said he is moving forward with the June 4 target date that was set to reopen hotel-casinos. He’s encouraged by the safety plans released by various properties, including those on the Las Vegas Strip, and believes employees and visitors will be protected.
“I’m confident with the restrictions that are put in place by the Gaming Control Board and by watching it quickly and carefully, we will avoid any spike or surge in our numbers,” said Sisolak during a phone conference with local and national media. “And if there is a problem, we’re going to have to start pulling things back, but I don’t anticipate that to be the case.”
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will release more details about gaming industry requirements tomorrow. For all the other businesses that can reopen, industry-specific guidelines are being finalized by the governor’s office and will be given out at some point this week.
Businesses that will remain closed include:
- Adult entertainment establishments
- Nightclubs and day clubs
- Live sporting event venues and life performance venues with spectators (these events must be streamed)
The in-person news conference was canceled after the governor’s spokeswoman said he visited a location where an employee ended up testing positive for COVID-19 late last week. The employee was not in the building.
While the governor does not have symptoms, the news conference was canceled, and Sisolak is scheduled to get tested tomorrow morning. He was also set to deliver the announcement in a prerecorded video, but that also did not happen due to “technical difficulties” and a quarantined team.
Over the course of Phase 1, the governor’s team had been monitoring the numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths.
Testing will play a major part in Nevada’s reopening. The more testing that’s done, the more data the decision makers have. The state reported that yesterday was a big day for testing, with the largest number of tests done so far.
Phase 1 of reopening started on May 9. Retail stores could open, along with hair and nail salons, with restrictions.
We know Sisolak wanted to see how Phase 1 affects the COVID-19 numbers. And now that we’re more than two weeks from that, he has the data.
Today’s remarks also came after a meeting earlier in the day by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. The board has already released extensive safety guidelines for casinos and most resorts have since released plans that go beyond those orders.
Speaking with business leaders Friday, Sisolak warned that even after casinos open, the economy won’t recover overnight.
“People are going to need to feel comfortable getting on a plane and checking into a hotel in Las Vegas. Until there is a vaccine that they feel that they’ll be immune, so to speak, from the virus, I don’t think it’s going to be back totally. We certainly won’t get our international travelers back,” he said.
Last week, state employment officials said Nevada’s jobless rate skyrocketed to 28.2% in April. That’s the worst-ever for the state and the highest in the entire country.