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Gov. Sisolak: Nevada not ready for phase 1 of reopening, schools to remain closed

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Posted at 12:09 PM, Apr 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-04-22 12:48:37-04

UPDATE: 11 P.M.: Nevada is turning the tide against the coronavirus, and Gov. Steve Sisolak says so far, hospitals have not seen a tsunami of patients due to strict social distancing guidelines.

Gov. Sisolak has now unveiled a four-phased approach to reopening Nevada's economy.

"We know the following to be true: The reopening of our economy is highly dependent upon expanded testing and tracing capacity," said Gov. Sisolak.

In order to get to Phase 1 of the reopening plan, the governor said certain criteria have to be met:

  • COVID-19 cases and related hospitalizations must be on a downward trajectory or pattern for at least 14 days.
  • Vulnerable populations such as the elderly and homeless need to remain protected from spreading the virus.

"So, the emergency is not over yet, but has entered a new phase," said Gov. Sisolak.

"We must continue to use good behavior and follow medical advice as we navigate this phase," added Gov. Sisolak.


A phase 1 reopening for individuals would look much like things are right now:

  • Vulnerable populations shelter in place
  • Avoiding all gatherings of 10 or more people
  • Avoiding all nonessential travel
  • Vulnerable populations shelter in place

The governor and his experts are considering whether certain businesses would be allowed to reopen under Phase 1, such as gyms, restaurants, movie theaters, sporting venues and places of worship.

"This is our overall goal. We want to progressively open up different types of facilities and industries in a way that allows Nevadans to gradually return to their normal lives while continuing to prevent the spread of the disease," said Gov. Sisolak.

Reopening Phases 2 through 4 remain to be ironed out, but the governor and his advisers say it will be in accordance with the White House and federal guidance.

"I would hope that they would be able to predict when that might occur, to give some people some hope say 'OK this is the date we're shooting for,' and we all know those things can change," said Nevada Assemblyman Tom Roberts.

Assemblyman Roberts represents assembly district 13, a portion of the north part of the Las Vegas valley.

Roberts says protests over the weekend show people are growing restless of the severe social constraints.

"I was hopeful that we were going to see a detailed plan, I know there are four phases and we got a glimpse at Phase 1, so we got a quarter of a plan," said Roberts.

Roberts says his fellow Grand Old Party lawmakers are ready to pitch in and help, calling on the governor to form a team made up of Republicans and Democrats to get the state ready to reopen.

The Nevada Republican assembly caucus released a framework for reopening the state over the weekend.

The governor would not commit to any time frame for reopening, adding this all depends on data and human behavior.

His advisers say, overall, the COVID-19 patient curve is flattening, hospital rates due to COVID-19 are dropping along with ventilator use.

UPDATE 6 P.M.: The following are some of the key facts and quotes from Tuesday's press conference with Gov. Sisolak and his medical advisory team.

"Once the outbreak has sufficiently declined, the goal is to progressively open up different types of facilities & industries in a way that allows people to gradually return to their normal lives while continuing to prevent the spread of the disease," Sisolak said.

It was also announced that schools throughout Nevada will remain closed for the remainder of this academic school year.

The governor and his medical team also reminded Nevadans that social distancing and the closure of non-essential businesses is working to slow the spread of this virus.

"The lower number of infected people & deaths than predicted should not be seen as an indication that our actions were unnecessary, but as a strong indicator that our aggressive control measures were both necessary & effective." - Gov. Sisolak's Nevada Medical Advisory Team.

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) -- Gov. Steve Sisolak is set to share an update on the coronavirus pandemic Tuesday at 5 p.m.



Nevada's Gov. Sisolak gives reopening plan update

Earlier today, Clark County and other Las Vegas area officials shared an update with the public. You can watch that here.