LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Gov. Steve Sisolak is urging Nevada businesses to do more to slow the spread of COVID-19 and implored everyone 12 and older to get vaccinated, but stopped short of announcing new restrictions or mandates.
“Let me be clear, vaccines are the way out of this pandemic,” Sisolak said at a Thursday news conference. “I need everyone out there to encourage their family members and encourage their friends to get the vaccine.”
Unlike recent efforts in California, New York City, and New York State, Sisolak said he has no intention to introduce a vaccine mandate for state workers. He did, however, call on individual businesses, including the gaming industry, to consider stronger vaccination efforts.
Watch the Full Press Conference Below:
Sisolak said he has sent requests to his medical advisory team for recommendations to cover schools, vulnerable populations, and large gatherings.
The governor said he has asked the Nevada System of Higher Education to consider vaccination requirements for all students attending in-person classes at public colleges and universities. Any decision, he said, will not affect students returning to classes this semester. NSHE had previously announced all students are required to wear masks, regardless of vaccination status.
Sisolak also asked for more guidance for those working with vulnerable populations. That includes those in institutional settings, those working with the homeless, and those in Nevada’s healthcare system.
Finally, the governor asked advisors to examine how to make large gatherings safer. Sisolak pointed to the recent Gold Cup Final at Allegiant Stadium as a missed opportunity for masking, saying fans had masks when they entered, but largely ignored the rule as the match continued. Sisolak reiterated that he wants crowds to gather for concerts, sporting events, and school functions, but that they must do so safely.
Sisolak said despite there being an increase in COVID-19 breakthrough cases, vaccines are working. Nationwide, the rate of hospitalization for such cases is below .004%, deaths under .0008%.
This week the Nevada Hospital Association said hospitals are seeing a wave of overcrowding. However, that surge is largely preventable, the group said, since approximately 95 percent of those hospitalized are unvaccinated patients.
Thursday Nevada reported 26 COVID-19-related deaths, more than 1,100 additional virus infections and an increasing COVID-19 test positivity rate of 15.7 percent.
Clark County accounts for 24 of those deaths reported in the past day as its test positivity rate rose to 16.7 percent.