LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Governor Steve Sisolak announced Phase One of reopening Nevada will now occur on Saturday, May 9.
“Thanks to Nevadans cooperating and doing well with social distancing, we are on track for reopening criteria and will enter Phase One on Saturday, May 9,” said Gov. Sisolak.
Sisolak noted several businesses may reopen under strict rules. These include dine-in options for restaurants, barber shops and hairstylists, retail businesses and vehicle dealerships.
The I-Team spoke with the governor after the press conference and asked him what he would say to critics who wanted more information earlier on. Some are saying this was not a lot of notice for businesses.
“No, it’s not a lot of notice for businesses, and they don’t have to open up. You’re absolutely right. And we tried to give information as quickly as we could, and as clearly and accurately as we could. But that was dependent on information coming in from a day-to-day basis in order to form a trajectory. You don’t want to see that we’re looking good halfway through, and then have it spike back up again, and then everyone’s hopes are dashed,” said Sisolak. “To businesses that think I did not give them enough notice, I’m sorry if they feel that way, but they don’t have to open on Saturday. Rest assured, this is not a mandate anybody has to open up their business. If they choose not to open up their salon or restaurant, no problem. That’s totally a devision they make on their own. Some will open and some will not, and I’m totally fine with that.”
In the news conference, it was announced that an overall decreasing trend has been seen since April 21 of COVID-19 hospitalizations and ICU hospitalizations.
The Nevada Hospital Association says hospitals have the capacity to handle a surge in cases.
To date, the state has distributed 3 million items of PPE.
According to Gov. Sisolak, the DHHS says the state can expand testing to asymptomatic patients, moving toward goal of 4,000.
“Contact tracing is extremely important. We also want to ensure we have sustained ability to protect most vulnerable populations,” added Gov. Sisolak.
Gov. Sisolak said regarding businesses that can reopen, “Face masks or coverings are strongly encouraged for anyone out in the public. Businesses MUST require employees to wear face coverings.”
Restaurants can now open for dine in and are required to have employees wear face coverings. Limited to no more than 50% of seating capacity, excluding bar seating. Tables and booths must be spaced 6-feet apart. Bar areas closed still.
- Employees must wear masks
- Encourage customers to wear masks
- No more than 50 percent of seating capacity
- Reservations required
- Bars and bar areas to remain closed, but can serve food
- Booths and tables must be spaced 6 feet apart
Barbers and hair stylists may reopen, but the business must use every other station and maintain 6-feet, by ppointment only. Stylists, beauticians and all staff must wear face coverings.
Retail businesses must limit customers to 50 percent of allowed capacity in accordance with fire codes. This now includes grocery stores, hardware stores, etc.
Indoor malls remain closed but they can have curbside pick up.
Auto dealerships must limit customers to 50 percent of allowed occupancy in accordance with fire codes.
For test drives, only the family member may be in the car. Salespeople are not allowed in cars during test drives.
Regarding large gatherings, they are still prohibited. Gatherings over 10 people prohibited.
Gov. Sisolak said regarding Mother’s Day, “I love my mother too much to have dinner with her on Sunday.”
Sisolak says no good can come from it and that it is not worth the chance of them contracting the virus.
“Vulnerable populations must continue to shelter in place. Family members with vulnerable individuals at home must take extra precautions when at work or out in public,” added Gov. Sisolak.
Sisolak on businesses not allowed to reopen Phase One:
- Taverns that do not currently or have a license to serve food
- Gym and fitness facilities
- Entertainment and recreation activities (bowling alleys, movie theaters)
- Strip clubs and brothels
All county and state offices will remain closed.
Sisolak says gaming facilities are still not allowed to reopen until the gaming control board approves reopening plans.
Some casinos planned to reopen Memorial Day weekend, but it is unknown at this time if it will happen.
The governor emphasized that casino restaurants and gaming restaurants must remain closed.
“We will begin to open gaming establishments at the appropriate time. I don’t want to guess on a date and am leaving it up to the state gaming division,” added Gov. Sisolak.
Gov. Sisolak emphasizes we must remain vigilant and continue practicing guidelines and social distancing, stating cases will continue to rise as we reopen activities.
“We can’t put our gloves down now. The beginning of reopening our economy is not the end of the coronavirus,” Sisolak stresses.
Sisolak says counties can enforce stricter requirements for reopening if they want to, but they must at least meet the minimum of 50% capacity and cannot go over that.
“It is our personal responsibility, each and every one of us, to stay safe for ourselves, our loved ones, and others,” added Sisolak.
For businesses concerned about reopening too early, “They are not obligated to open under these requirements,” the governor says.
Sisolak will communicate whether we will be able to enter Phase Two on May 30, the date Phase One could end. He says if there is a COVID-19 surge, the state may roll back some of the reopenings announced today.
“Than you Nevada for working so hard to get us where we are today,” added Gov. Sisolak.
Sisolak says he does not have a specific metric to measure when we will be able to enter Phase Two. He says it will be based on several criteria and requirements.
Regarding the state’s response to people who have filed for unemployment and still have yet to receive their money, Sisolak says, “Unemployment is an issue we continue to face. The gig workers’ system is just not in place yet. Hopefully, we will roll out in 7-10 days.”
Regarding other unemployment issues, the governor says they are working on individual cases where forms have not been filled out properly, causing backups, with this needing to be taken care of first.
Regarding the wearing of face masks for the public, Gov. Sisolak notes violence that has occurred across the nation for requiring face masks.
“I would like patrons to wear masks. Restaurants can encourage or require their patrons to wear masks,” added Sisolak.
Governor Sisolak reminded viewers the moratorium on evictions still in place, and the state does not yet have a date when that will end.
More industry specific guidance will be available later today on nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.
Just one week ago, Sisolak extended his stay-at-home order to May 15 and unveiled his “Roadmap to Recovery” plan that laid out Phase 1. It called for the following:
- Continued strict social distancing
- Face coverings
- Nevadans to stay at home as much as possible
- Avoid all non-essential travel
- Vulnerable populations, like the elderly or those with weakened immune systems, to stay at home
During last week’s news conference, he eased some restrictions on his stay-at-home directive:
- Retail businesses, including dispensaries, can operate curbside
- Drive-in services are allowed for places of worship
- Some sports are allowed, like golf, tennis, and pickleball