LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak addressed Nevada residents Monday, saying the state is not ready for Phase 3 of reopening. According to Gov. Sisolak, we need a little more time to verify the impact of the recent openings from Phase 2.
Nevada has been in Phase 2 for a couple of weeks now, but because of a rise in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Gov. Sisolak says the state is not ready to move on to Phase 3.
“We’re not in a post-COVID time,” Gov. Sisolak said. “We’re in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic. We’re right dead smack in the middle of it.”
Staying in Phase 2 means no additional restrictions are being lifted.
“We don’t want to go forward and then take a step backward,” Gov. Sisolak said.
As Nevada continues to reopen under Phase 2, more testing is available, and data shows an uptick in COVID-19 cases, as was predicted by experts. Gov. Sisolak says there has been an upward trend over the last three weeks, and a consistent increase in hospitalizations since June 5th.
“Before expanding our reopening and entering into Phase 3, we must continue to allow ourselves the time to evaluate this new medical information,” said Gov. Sisolak.
With large crowds forming on the Las Vegas Strip and in Downtown Las Vegas, contact tracing will help figure out how people are contracting the virus.
For example, it can figure out if it is in the casinos or at the protests that have been happening around the Las Vegas valley. In both cases, there is little social distancing and sometimes minimal mask use.
“Now is not the time to abandon these protective measures. It is the time to double down on them. We can only stay open if we stay safe,” Gov. Sisolak said.
Las Vegans 8 News NOW talked to are torn on the idea of waiting.
“The governor and his team, I think, are trying to do what’s best, but I also think there are some long-term effects to keeping things shut down,” Jeremy Martin said.
Martha Martin added, “I feel like things do need to progress, and they need to move forward either way, but I also understand staying in Phase 2 just a little bit longer.”
Gov. Sisolak says science will make the final say.
“The virus is what drives the timeline,” Gov Sisolak said.
Again, Gov. Sisolak has not set a date yet for Phase 3, but here’s some perspective: Phase 1 lasted for about three weeks, and Nevada is just over two weeks into Phase 2.
Gov. Sisolak also confirmed that there would be a special session soon where lawmakers will meet in Carson City to figure out the state budget, which has been hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
He also says an announcement will be made soon on the moratorium on evictions and foreclosures, meaning we will learn whether that will expire soon.