CARSON CITY, Nev. (KLAS) — Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak urged Nevadans to wear face coverings when in public during an update on Phase 1 Friday.
The governor said while the majority of Nevadans are following the rules, some refuse to wear masks and some businesses aren’t complying. He stressed this will not help the state open any sooner.
“Our goal is to continue reopening more of Nevada’s economy in a safe and responsible manner,” said Sisolak. “What we do now will determine what we can do next. That’s why compliance is so extremely important.”
Sisolak initially opened the conference by discussing the 6.5 magnitude earthquake near Tonopah. He said the lights were swinging in his house, waking him up around 4 a.m.
He encouraged the public to continue to stay home when possible, in addition to wearing face coverings.
“We are currently on day 20 of a downward trend,” said Governor Sisolak on the current COVID-19 pandemic.
Sisolak said COVID-19 hospitalizations have continued to drop over the last 14-day period.
“In the last week, we have conducted over 17,000 tests,” added Sisolak.
Sisolak said data is promising thus far, but it is too early to make determinations on when we will move into Phase 2.
The governor shared that majority of businesses are in general compliance with Phase 1 rules, while stating that repercussions and enforcements will take place in regards to those who are not following rules.
“I know Nevadans who are wearing face coverings,” said Sisolak, speaking on the likelihood of people wearing masks if they know someone who’s been impacted by the virus.
“Wear it for one of our veterans. Wear it for one of our thousands of frontline healthcare workers who go to work every single day to take care of us. Wear it for the person going to the grocery store. Wear it for someone you know that has cancer, that has diabetes, that has high blood pressure, that has asthma.”
Regarding federal unemployment benefit extension programs, Governor Sisolak excitedly spoke about DETR announcing that those eligible for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) can begin filing tomorrow, Saturday, May 16.
“I allowed DETR to hire non-contract or merit staff workers to help process claims,” said Sisolak.
The number of people processing claims for DETR has increased from 75 to 238, and the governor says they need more.
The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program covers those not usually eligible for unemployment, and those without significant work history.
Sisolak said Nevadans are waiting for this program, so he is pleased DETR is ready.
According to Sisolak, close to 80% of Nevadans have received their unemployment benefits.
In regards to reopening places of worship, Sisolak said it is difficult to social distance in a house of worship and that is usually a place where the most vulnerable people are as well with many being of the older population. He said the state is working with faith leaders.
Throughout the conference, Sisolak urged Nevadans to use face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by protecting yourself and others. He shared that the state will step up contract tracing as well.
“Wear your mask like a badge of honor,” said Sisolak.
Regarding opening restaurants in casinos, Sisolak said it is meant to benefit smaller communities that don’t have many options when it comes to restaurants. Sisolak said this is more for places like Ely than Las Vegas.
As of today, there is no specific timeline for reopening schools, according to Sisolak.
Last week, Sisolak announced that the State was ready to enter Phase 1 of the plan. He also outlined what was expected of Nevadans when they venture out as well as the statewide safety standards that businesses would need to follow in order to resume operations on Saturday, May 9, 2020.