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Gov. Sisolak, AG Ford address rural counties defying COVID-19 restrictions

'These resolutions have no legal effect'
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Posted at 7:40 PM, Jan 29, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-29 22:55:22-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron D. Ford issued the following joint statement on Friday after several rural counties passed resolutions challenging the governor’s COVID-19 directives.

Lyon, White Pine, Eureka and Elko counties have all passed resolutions challenging the current restrictions in place.

The full statement reads as follows:

“We recognize the tolls this pandemic is taking on all Nevadans,” said Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Ford. “And we are determined to continue working with our local elected officials to protect our residents and support our economy. That said, we believe resolutions like those passed in some of the rural counties are counterproductive and confusing to Nevadans.

Resolutions like this are mere statements and nothing more. They have no force of law and cannot override the Governor's Emergency Directives, which have been issued under state law and upheld in courts several times. The Attorney General has spoken with counsel of various municipalities regarding actions such as these, and each counsel has acknowledged that these resolutions have no legal effect.

Far from helping, resolutions like this send mixed messages to their residents and businesses -- implying that they need not comply with Emergency Directives when, in fact, they must. Most importantly, these elected leaders are not protecting the health and safety of their constituents by encouraging them to ignore Directives that have issued upon the advice of medical professionals to keep people safe.

We are all tired of this virus. But every day, and in rural counties, Nevadans die due to COVID-19. We look forward to continuing our efforts to work with our local elected officials as we seek to protect all Nevadans and end this pandemic.”