LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Gov. Steve Sisolak made a passionate plea Tuesday, urging Nevadans to stop the divisiveness as we deal with a surge in COVID-19 cases. He announced what he calls “Stay at Home 2.0.”
The new initiative asks everyone to buckle down and prevent further spread of the virus statewide.
For the next two weeks, it is “back to the basics,” including wearing masks, social distancing, washing hands and staying home unless you absolutely must go out.
Sisolak said we need the next two weeks to bring testing timelines down, catch up on contact tracing and relieve Nevada’s healthcare infrastructure.
“If you don’t have to go out, don’t go out,” Sisolak said. He asked Nevadans to give the next two weeks a chance.
The number of positive COVID-19 cases has been increasing in Nevada with a 1,322 new cases reported in just the past 24 ours. The positivity rate is now at nearly 14%.
“The fall spike predicted by all medical and scientific experts is now our reality,” Sisolak said.
The governor noted we are walking a tightrope, balancing saving lives, recreation and other aspects of daily life.
Sisolak stressed we cannot wait for a vaccine to get the virus under control, pointing out current numbers.
Employers, businesses, local airports, houses of worship and universities were mentioned, in terms of stepping up mitigation measures. The governor asked employers to allow employees who can work from home to do so. Those who are unable to must wear a mask at all times.
“For all employers and office spaces, we are asking that you telework as much as possible,” Sisolak implored. “If employees can do their work from home, have them do so for the next two weeks. And if employees have to do work within the work space, they must wear a mask at all times.”
As far as businesses are concerned, Sisolak implored local governments to step up enforcement, including citations, fines and even loss of licenses, if COVID-19 protocols are not being followed.
Congregants and faith leaders were asked to leave services, get in the car and go home, instead of congregating before or after.
The governor harped on the message that face coverings must be worn by everyone in meetings of two people or more for the entire duration.
In a heartbreaking moment, Sisolak said CCSD Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara told him a 9-year-old student committed suicide this week. He said while he is concerned about reopening schools, it’s important for kids to get back in the classroom. The emotional well-being of children has been a large concern during the pandemic.
Currently, there will be no restrictions on out-of-state visitors. Sisolak asked them to wear masks while they’re here and to follow the rules.
Ultimately, the governor noted, if Nevadans do not come together and give the next two weeks a change, he would be forced to take stronger action in 14 days.
The governor was also joined by Dr. Tony Slonim, CEO of Renown Health. He mentioned that his facility would be providing alternate care sites to accommodate more beds for COVID patients.