The governor has mandated a three-week ‘statewide pause’ as Covid positive rates soar.
Nevada’s Covid numbers are peaking higher than ever. In an online press conference on Sunday, Governor Sisolak mandated new capacity limits and tighter mask requirements in order to mitigate the alarming spread of the virus.
The ‘pause’ will initially last three weeks and goes into effect on Tuesday, November 24 at 12:01am. It reduces capacity to 25% at restaurants and bars (indoors and outdoors), gyms and fitness centers, gaming establishments as well as libraries, museums, arcades and other similar activities.
In addition, restaurants and bars that serve food will now be required to operate on a reservation-only basis, and no more than four people can be seated at a table.
Public gatherings are reduced again to a maximum capacity of 25% (or 50 people, whichever is less), and private gatherings (indoors and outdoors) are now limited to 10 people and may not include more than two different households.
Previously established capacity limitations for retail spaces, personal services establishments, community and recreational centers and K-12 schools remain the same and are unaffected by the three-week Statewide Pause. However, retail spaces with a footprint of more than 50,000 square feet will now be required to have employees at entrances enforcing the capacity limit.
The mandate also tightens mask requirements, making it mandatory for everyone to wear a mask at all times (indoors and outdoors) when in the presence of someone outside of your household, unless actively eating or drinking. This includes wearing a mask while exercising.
Governor Sisolak hopes that these new restrictions will help to curve the skyrocketing statistics and lessen the pressure on the health system, as hospitals have been quickly filling up and experiencing staffing shortages.
In his announcement, Gov. Sisolak said the number of counties flagged for elevated risk of transmission has risen from 2 to 13 of 17 just since the beginning of October. With the numbers the way they currently are, it is estimated that someone in Nevada is diagnosed with Covid every single minute.
“Our case rate growth is at wildfire levels – even outpacing neighboring states, such as Arizona,” Sisolak said. “All available models indicate that Nevada is in a “red zone” and our health experts anticipate continued case growth based on current trends.”
During the course of the three-week ‘statewide pause,’ Sisolak says numbers will continue to be monitored and will determine what the weeks after the pause look like. If numbers decrease or plateau, the state will decide whether further evaluation is needed or if certain restrictions can be loosened. However, if numbers continue to rise, Governor Sisolak says he will take stronger action.
[Featured image: Governor Steve Sisolak]