With the number of daily COVID-19 cases continuing to remain high in Nevada, Gov. Steve Sisolak opted to extend his statewide “pause” that keeps restaurants, bars, and casinos at 25 percent capacity for another 30 days.
Sisolak initially reduced the operating capacity for these businesses, implemented mandatory reservations at restaurants and bars, and allowed only four people per table on November 24, and then extended the measures until January 15. The governor warns that COVID-19 cases will continue to climb as numbers due to Christmas and New Year’s Eve gatherings come in. “We must remain under the strict mitigation measures and change your behavior immediately,” Sisolak says in a virtual press conference. “The reality is what trends now show that the state, including Washoe and Clark counties, are still experiencing very high levels of disease burden.”
But not all the news was bad. Candice McDaniel from Nevada Department of Health and Human Services says that the state is now moving hospitality and food service workers ahead in the line to get the vaccine. “We know Nevada is the hospitality capital of the world, and as the governor has said many times, they are essential to our state’s and our ability to be healthy and recover,” she says during the press conference on Monday.
McDaniel says that restaurant staff, food prep workers, and casino and resort employees will be moved up on the list, in part to ensure that all vaccination doses that the state receives are being used. She says the state talked to businesses to determine how to roll out vaccinations to front-line workers. Right now, the state is vaccinating health-care workers and those age 70 and older. The first doses of Pfizer vaccine arrived on December 14, and the state already administered more than 61,000 first doses and more than 8,700 second doses as of January 11. The new vaccination rollout plans will run in conjunction with CDC recommendations, and workers will be notified when they can receive the two-dose vaccine.
Since the pandemic started, more than 250,000 Nevadans contracted COVID-19, and Nevada averages 1,866 new cases daily over the past 14 days.
In Clark County, 191,163 people tested positive since the pandemic started 10 months ago, with 10,625 total hospitalizations and 2,637 total deaths. The county reported 12,554 new COVID-19 cases over the past seven days.