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UPDATE: Gov. Sisolak says Nevada not ready for Phase 3 of reopening

Virus Outbreak Nevada
Posted at 12:19 PM, Jun 15, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-16 10:11:32-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference today to give an update on Phase 2 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery Plan.

Sisolak said, "we are not ready to enter Phase 3 of reopening."

The governor went on to say the number of new COVID-19 cases is in the middle of a 3-week upward trend.

The rate of positive cases is just over 5% when compared to the total number of tests performed.

The ratio was more than 12% near the height of the outbreak in March and April, according to John Hopkins University.

“We have the expectation that as a result of reopening and an increase in testing, our positive cases were likely to increase and we have seen a rise in positive cases, but that has yet to negatively affect the capacity of our hospitals," said Gov. Sisolak.

The governor reports COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to rise as more cases are spreading through communities in Nevada, but the healthcare system is not overburdened by the caseload at the present time.

“Before expanding our re-opening and entering a Phase 3 we must continue to allow ourselves the time to evaluate this new medical information and along with the impact of re-opening to make sure we’re doing all we can to protect ourselves and the capacity of our healthcare system to respond to the virus," added. Gov. Sisolak.

Intensive care bed use and ventilator usage are considered to be in what has been called a plateau phase and officials are carefully watching for any surges or spikes.

The governor added contact tracing, which is the ability to track down who people have been potentially infected or exposed to the virus after a COVID-19 patient has been identified.

Additionally, there will be a special session of the Nevada legislature about the pandemic and the economic impact it is having on the state.

That special session will take place in person in Carson City. A date for the special session to start has not been announced.

"I can't say no," said Sisolak when asked if raising taxes was going to be on the table during the special session.

“It is going to be difficult to get us on board with raising any taxes," said Nevada Assemblyman Tom Roberts.

Roberts says members from both sides of the aisle will have to come up with solutions and compromises through a mix of cuts and conversations on ways to raise revenue.

“I don’t know what you could tax, all of our tax revenue, gaming, sales tax, everything is not performing the way it normally is and I think adding any burden to that is only going to exacerbate the problem on recovery," added Roberts.

The governor says an in-person special session will happen in Carson City for lawmakers to find a solution to plug the budget hole which is more than $800 million dollars.

The governor also addressed concerns of protests and the spread of COVID-19 reminding Nevadans to wear face masks if they attend a protest.

Watch the full press conference here: