Sisolak: Nevadans doing well early in Phase 1 of reopening

Geoff Dornan / Nevada Appeal

Gov. Steve Sisolak said Friday he is proud that the vast majority of Nevadans and businesses are taking the coronavirus restrictions seriously and complying with the rules as the state begins reopening its economy.

He said the state is in day 20 of a downward trajectory with just 9% of those tested coming back positive. He said that is far better than the 12.5% at the peak a few weeks back.

He said the number of hospitalizations also continues to drop and the state’s hospitals have bed capacity and equipment including ventilators.

Sisolak said testing continues to ramp up in Nevada with more than 17,000 tests conducted last week.

“That number will continue to grow as we move forward,” he said. “We have capacity but people have to go and get tested.”

He said the state now has excess capacity and that people who want a test should call their provider or attend one of the drive-through testing sites now open across the state.

Walmart is opening testing at 10 of its Nevada stores and casinos are providing tests for workers in preparation for them returning to work.

How quickly Nevada moves to Phase 2 of the reopening, he said, depends on Nevadans and businesses continuing to follow the restrictions including social distancing, hand washing and wearing masks.

Sisolak emphasized that wearing masks is critical to the progress the state has achieved so far and urged everyone to wear one when out.

He said the state and local officials are also moving forward with enforcement, looking for violators. He said some are not in compliance but promised that, for those businesses, “there will be repercussions as a result of that,” because, he said, those businesses are putting everyone at risk.

State and local regulators have made it clear businesses that flout the rules could face fines, restrictions and even the loss of their business licenses.

He said the division of Industrial Relations reports to him that the majority of businesses are in compliance with the restrictions he outlined for Phase 1 a week ago. He said he and his team of experts will need at least two full weeks of data to analyze if it is safe to move forward and further ease restrictions.

Sisolak declined to give reporters an idea of what Phase 2 reopening rules would look like saying he is working through that with his team of experts. He said businesses and many others are providing their recommendations as they prepare those rules.

He said the goal is to, “continue opening the Nevada economy in a safe and responsible manner.”

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