LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Gov. Steve Sisolak said Friday he intends to end the State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic in two weeks, effective May 20, 2022.

Sisolak has been criticized by Republicans for leaving the State of Emergency in place, allowing him to continue to issue emergency orders with the force of law. The State of Emergency went into effect in March 2020, when the governor ordered “non-essential” businesses to close.

“The COVID-19 pandemic tried and tested our state on every level. By working together across all levels of government and in every corner of the state, we kept prevented our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed and continued to provide services to Nevadans in need,” Sisolak said. “I am so grateful to all the Nevadans who worked through these trying times in service of the Silver State.”

A news release issued in Carson City said, “Between now and May 20, 2022, the state will continue to work with partners who are using the flexibility allowed by the Declaration of Emergency to ensure there is no gap in services when the emergency ends.”

A steady stream of emergency orders during the pandemic allowed “flexibility” in responding to a constantly changing situation with COVID-19.

Republicans have criticized Sisolak’s emergency orders as an abuse of power — a characterization reflected by the view that it was Sisolak, not COVID-19, that shut down Nevada’s economy.

The state will need to coordinate with medical facilities that are continuing to use some health care workers who were allowed under emergency orders — some doctors, nurses, EMTs, and medical students.

Sisolak used emergency orders assign authority for mask mandates during the pandemic. Mask mandates were hard for many to accept during the pandemic, and became a big political issue in late 2021.

Many of the rules issued during the pandemic have ended up in court. Most recently, mask mandates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that applied to public transportation were struck down by a court, but the Biden administration is appealing.