LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — UPDATE: During a press conference Monday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak essentially warned businesses, ‘if you don’t follow the rules to help fight COVID-19, we’ll find you, and there will be consequences.’
Sisolak is moving away from the Phased reopening approach, saying that enforcement needs to be more targeted. The latest numbers show some improvement, but he’s making it clear, now is not the time to stop social distancing wearing masks.
One of the biggest points of the update was that bars in Clark County, as well as in Elko, Washoe and Nye counties, will remain closed for at least the next week. Previously, bars were closed in seven Nevada counties.
The State’s Health Response team is now working on a long-term mitigation strategy so individuals and businesses can get updated COVID-19 numbers to better prepare for any changes they have to make.
Sisolak says more specific targeting will be done, based on zip codes, as enforcement will play a bigger role in Nevada’s new approach to the virus.
Targeting will also be done on certain businesses that are violating the rules, rather than entire industries.
“I’m tired of education, ambassadors,” said Sisolak. “I need enforcement officers that need to punish the bad guys that are violating the rules, not whole industries.”
Sisolak says he will release more details on this new approach next Monday, Aug. 3. He also plans to sign a new directive by Friday of this week.
Monday’s COVID-19 report from the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) showed nearly 1,000 new cases and five COVID-19-related deaths in the past 24 hours.
As Nevada saw its percentage of positive cases and hospitalizations rise, Sisolak announced the previous directive on July 9 aimed at bars in certain counties. He mandated that specific bars had to return to Phase 1 restrictions on Friday, July 10, to prevent further spread of the virus.
The directive was the second time Nevada had tightened restrictions since the state started reopening in early June, allowing businesses including bars, restaurants, casinos and hotels to accept customers.
A New York Times analysis of U.S. COVID-19 data, updated daily, placed Nevada with the fourth-highest per-capita daily cases on Monday. States are ranked by the highest rate for the most recent day available.
Nevada has seen a surge in new cases since late June, with more than 1,000 new cases reported in a single day 10 times since June 26.