CARSON CITY (KTNV) — Gov. Steve Sisolak shared an update on the state's COVID-19 response efforts with Nevadans on Thursday and announced a reopening plan that he says begins early next week.
The timeline for Nevada's "safe reopening" will begin Feb. 15 and go through May 1, according to the governor. He says statewide coronavirus trends are moving in the right direction and credits this momentum as the reason for the decision.
"Vaccines have provided hope during the worst of this pandemic," said Gov. Sisolak, whose remarks were also tweeted as he spoke. "Like the rest of the country, Nevada experienced multiple surges over the recent winter months, resulting in record-high numbers."
"The good news: we've also recently experienced positive progress in our COVID trends," he said.
He went on to share some of those trends:
As of February 11:
- test positivity rate over the last 14 days is 14.3%
- average number of daily new cases over the last 14 days is 684
- Nevada Hospital Association reported Nevada is continuing to see a downward trajectory in hospitalizations
Below are some important dates related to the timeline.
On Feb. 15 first-round capacity limits will be lifted at various levels based on the risk level of the activity or business-type identified by health experts.
Here's what's moving to 35% capacity:
- Places of worship
- Gyms, fitness studios, yoga studios, martial arts studios, and similar establishment
- Gaming floors
- bowling alleys
- pool halls and similar activities
When it comes to restaurants & bars: INDOOR dining & beverage service will be at 35% capacity. Outdoor dining won't have a capacity limit but will have to adhere to social distancing requirements. Reservations will no longer be required and # of patrons per table will move to 6
The following will be moving to 50% capacity:
- Libraries, museums, art galleries, aquariums and zoos.
Additionally, Public gatherings and events can increase to 100 individuals or 35% of fire code capacity, whichever is less, with strict social distancing.
Organizations may begin submitting large gatherings plans beginning on Feb. 15, but no events can resume until March 1, and only if reviewed by local health authorities and approved by an appropriate state agency. This is the same process that was in place prior to the initiation of the pause.
Almost all businesses in the state return to 50% capacity.
Gatherings to 250 people or 50%, whichever is less, with strict social distancing requirements.
From now until May 1, retail stores, indoor malls, and community/recreational centers will remain at 50%. Spas, massage establishments, hair salons, nail salons & similar businesses will continue to operate with social distancing requirements under authority of licensing boards.
Certain high-risk businesses and activities – adult entertainment establishment, nightclubs and day clubs, and brothels, will remain closed until at least May 1.
Finally, on May 1, the goal is for the State to transition decision-making authority on mitigation management of businesses and activities to local authorities.
Below are some graphics provided by the state summarizing the timeline.
WHAT ABOUT SCHOOLS?
Gov. Sisolak said one of his main priorities is getting children back to school "in the safest way possible." He noted that on March 1 some students Pre-K through third grade will have the opportunity to return to school in Clark County.
"Recently, the CDC said that school reopening can be done in a safe way, but only if we’re doing everything we can to manage community transmission outside the schools," said Gov. Sisolak.
"This reopening timeline takes this into consideration."
'CONTINUE TO MITIGATE THE SPREAD'
While Gov. Sisolak describes the recent progress in Nevada's trends as "significant," he also says it's still important to be diligent and avoid spreading the virus.
"That plan, paired with the vaccination efforts, will be a tremendous help to the State of Nevada," he concluded. "But until then, we must continue to mitigate the spread."
WATCH FULL | Watch a replay of the governor's update below: