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Nevada leaders report face mask compliance is up, but still needs improvement

Posted at 6:33 PM, Jul 06, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-07 00:32:40-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — State officials say the number of businesses complying with Gov. Steve Sisolak's face mask mandate has gone up since initial numbers last week but there are still areas of concern.

Since the mandate went into effect on June 26, the Department of Industrial Relations has made more than 900 field observations.

From July 2 through July 3, officials visited casino hotel pools, a water park, bars, and gaming floors. They reportedly found an overall compliance rate of 76%.

Officials: 76% of Nevada businesses surveyed complied with mask mandate on July 3

But when you break that number down by location, it does paint a different picture.

The data shows the waterpark was not in compliance. At casino and hotel pools the compliance was at 40%.

When it came to bars/restaurants and lounges, the number was at 50%, with casino gaming floors at 80%.

Caleb Cage, who's the director of the state's COVID-19 response, said while the numbers are better than the first round, they're still not where they need to be.

"The increased compliance that we're seeing here I think is a positive," he said. "I don't think anybody is ready to rest satisfied on any of our compliance numbers right now."

Cage said the reason for the mask mandate was to help the state maintain something like the stay at home order did with the purpose of stopping the spread - anything to mitigate the spread of the virus.

Cage said the team is looking at every other state in the country and around the world for examples of what works when it comes to curbing the spread of COVID-19. The goal is to protect the health and safety of everyone and continue to reopen the economy.

Nevada facing further challenges with rising coronavirus cases, hospitalizations

And while he didn't say whether that could involve additional shutdowns, he said they're looking at all available options.

"I think the governor has made some very difficult but bold decisions so far," Cage said.

He says those decisions have enabled the state to have a better understanding of how the virus behaves in the public and allowed the state to move into the first phases of reopening.

But since Memorial Day weekend, cases and the rate of hospitalizations have been on the rise, requiring the state to remain in Phase 2, for now.

Nevada seeing increase in hospitalizations related to COVID-19