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Gov. Steve Sisolak mandates Nevadans to wear face coverings in public spaces

Nevada governor says order starts Friday
Posted at 12:13 PM, Jun 23, 2020
and last updated 2020-06-25 09:09:16-04

NEVADA (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference on Wednesday that provided an update on Nevada’s ongoing response to COVID-19.

The press conference was held inside the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City and a livestream of the update is available below:

Wednesday's update comes as the state has been reporting a daily increase in the number of COVID-19 cases and percent of positive tests.

Latest COVID-19 numbers in Nevada

And during his Wednesday press conference, Gov. Sisolak said he will mandate all Nevadans to wear face coverings while in public spaces beginning Friday at 12:01 a.m.

“If you’re young and you’re healthy, it might be okay for you, but you could be asymptomatic and you’re spreading it to someone else,” said Gov. Sisolak.

The governor also said the state's economy can remain open as long as everyone agrees to wear masks and maintain 6 feet apart from person-to-person. Saying that wearing a mask is a medical necessity and not a political or philosophical decision.

Dr. Christina Madison says the rising numbers aren’t just because of testing anymore as there’s a true spike in cases.

“It’s going to be a big deal when you take it home to grandma, or your aunt or uncle that’s older and vulnerable who has kidney problems or heart trouble, and then they end up in the hospital,” says Dr. Madison.

The governor said this face-covering directive especially applies to indoor activities in which people are near each other, including grocery stores, retail businesses, malls, and gaming properties.

However, there are exceptions, including those with medical conditions that make it difficult to breathe, those with a disability that prevents them from wearing a face covering, and young children between the ages of two and nine. With more detailed information available here.

Gov. Sisolak said businesses that fail to meet requirements in the directive will face violations from licensing agencies and regulatory authorities, in addition to Nevada OSHA. Also, businesses have the right to ask a patron to leave if they are not following the directive.

Former MGM Resorts executive Greg Chase spoke to 13 Action News recently about some of his concerns inside casinos, after not seeing social distancing or strict safety standards.

He believes the mask requirement will be a game-changer.

“Frankly, I think the greater message is we all have to remember this is for the health and safety of our friends, our neighbors, and our family at the end of the day,” Chase said.

The governor concluded Wednesday's speech by saying he doesn't want to take steps backward by imposing stronger restrictions but at this point, any discussion of entering Phase 3 is tabled.

Earlier on Wednesday, Caesars Entertainment started implementing its own face-covering policy, and immediately after the governor's speech Wynn Las Vegas and MGM Resorts gave their support to the governor's decision moving forward.

Casino operators respond to Nevada Gov. Sisolak's face mask mandate

The Las Vegas Raiders have also shown their mask-wearing support on social media:

As well as the City of Las Vegas, sharing a "Stay safe. Wear a mask." video.