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Nevada COVID-19 task force votes to keep bars closed in Clark County

Washoe, Nye counties to reopen bars and taverns
Posted at 2:37 PM, Sep 10, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-11 00:29:15-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation & Management Task Force has voted to keep Clark County bars and taverns that do not serve food closed.

The decision was made during the weekly meeting Thursday. However, they did vote to allow Washoe and Nye counties to reopen their bars and taverns at 50% capacity.

Last week, the task force decided to allow countertops or bar tops inside restaurants to reopen for dining. Previously, patrons could only sit at tables.

RELATED: Countertop, bar dining allowed at Clark County restaurants

Thursday, the task force said based on data provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, three counties were no longer meeting two of the three criteria for having an elevated risk of transmission. Lander, Lyon, and Nye County.

But Churchill, Clark, Elko, and Washoe counties remain on the list, and Eureka County was added to the list for the first time. Eureka will be required to submit an assessment and action plan to the task force next week.

No other county plans were voted on by the task force, mitigation measures approved last week would not have yielded results in the data, according to officials.

The following is a detailed summary of the information presented Thursday:

NYE COUNTY

Assessment summary:

  • This week, Nye County had a 6.4 percent positivity rate, a decrease from last week (11.4%).
  • Two weeks ago, the Task Force approved allowing bars to reopen in the areas of the county outside of Pahrump, including an enforcement mechanism to allow county officials to reclose the bars outside of Pahrump if cases increase.

Approved Action plan:

  • Given that Nye County has fallen off of the list, the Task Force approved reopening the bars, pubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries and wineries in Pahrump at midnight tonight. These businesses must still follow all of the statewide standards, which include mandatory face coverings for employees and customers and a 50 percent capacity limit.

WASHOE COUNTY

Assessment Summary:

  • Washoe County continues to meet 2 of the 3 elevated disease transmission criteria, although the county logged a drop in the test positivity rate in the last week from 8.3% to 7.3%.
  • This week, Washoe’s average number of tests per day dropped, but officials anticipate that is a short-term trend and are reporting plenty of testing capacity available.
  • Washoe reported that the majority of its cases are associated with workplaces, retail, recreation and dining, and private social gatherings.

Approved Action Plan:

  • This week, the Task Force approved Washoe County’s plan to reopen bars, pubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries and wineries with certain restrictions in place, including increased enforcement measures. This measure will go into place no later than 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 16 and will include input on increased enforcement and mitigation measures. At a minimum, the reopened businesses must follow statewide standards and enforcement measures, which includes required face coverings for employees and customers and a 50 percent capacity limit.

CLARK COUNTY

Assessment Summary:

  • Clark County continues to meet 2 of the 3 elevated disease transmission criteria.
  • Clark continues to maintain high test positivity (11.2%), however the rate continues to drop lower week over week. Clark’s case rate continues to drop and is above the threshold for the average number of tests per day.
  • Clark County is currently conducting a testing program with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the State of Nevada to administer up to 60,000 additional drive-through coronavirus tests over 14 days at three separate locations throughout the Las Vegas Valley at no cost to individuals. The additional testing runs through September 18.

ELKO COUNTY

Assessment Summary:

  • In the last 30 days, Elko County has reported 315 new cases and 241 recoveries and is reporting 71 active cases.
  • In the last week, Elko’s positivity rate dropped from 17.9% from 14.8 percent to 12.6%, saw a slight uptick in case rate and decrease on the tests per day measures.
  • Last week, the Task Force approved the action plan submitted by Elko that continues current restrictions for bars, pubs, taverns, breweries, distilleries, and wineries for another two weeks.
  • State officials will continue to work with Elko on enforcement and mitigation plans moving forward to bring the test positivity rate down.

CHURCHILL COUNTY

Assessment Summary:

  • Churchill maintains a low testing number. However, due to a high case rate and high positivity, it still met two of the assessment criteria. The county experienced another decrease in test positivity this week (10.7%) from last week (7.5%).
  • Churchill has maintained its initial surged hospital capacity implemented at the start of the pandemic and reports no patients currently hospitalized with COVID-19.
  • Churchill’s approved action plan from last week includes focusing on education, community testing, rapid contact tracing response and compliance with State directives.

The task force says all counties - regardless of risk level - must maintain the statewide baseline mitigation measures, including wearing face coverings, limits on gathering sizes and capacity in businesses.

More information about the task force can be found here.