LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada is joining forces to fight against the coronavirus. The Silver State is now part of the Western States Pact, a group of neighboring governors who are working together to figure out how and when they will get back to business.
It was announced Monday that Nevada and Colorado have joined the pact, alongside California, Oregon and Washington. The governors of each state will share best practices on how to stop the spread of COVID-19 and responsibly reopen their economies.
“It creates consistency across large areas of the West,” said Robert Lang, a UNLV public policy professor and urban affairs expert.
It’s a coordinated effort amid COVID-19 chaos. By joining the pact, Nevada is now part of a shared vision for reopening economies throughout the region. The five states will discuss the best systems for testing, tracking and isolating, all while trying to get back to business.
Their shared principles include putting the health of residents first, making decisions based on science, not politics, and understanding that working together is the only way to be effective.
“One of the things we really need to do is build confidence in the product that we’re selling, which is tourism on the Strip,” Lang said.
Lang said when resorts in Las Vegas do reopen, people will still avoid air travel. So, creating a common ground with states within driving distance is crucial. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also tweeted Monday that millions of our visitors come from western states and that this partnership is vital.
“If you’re in California and you’re concerned about, what are the standards or the protocols to open a business in Nevada, rest assured, we’re following your same standards,” Lang said. “You can have the same thing from Las Vegas to Seattle to San Diego and to Denver, and you can count on it.”
Lang said all eyes will be on Vegas upon reopening, so collaboration is key.
“This is the right thing to do for Nevada,” Lang said. “I couldn’t think of a more important step for us.”
Lang said we can also expect to see a similar timeline for reopening among all five states. Nevada’s shutdown is currently scheduled to last through the end of April. But Lang expects that to be extended to mid-to-late May.