Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) is rolling back some of Nevada’s reopening plan, closing bars in counties experiencing spikes of the Chinese coronavirus as part of a greater effort to quell the spread of the virus.
“We know that COVID-19 can easily spread when people are congregating for long periods of time, like inside a bar,” Sisolak said on Thursday.
“In states where we have seen significant spikes, such as Arizona, Texas and Florida, they have all taken actions to roll back bars,” he continued.
“Recently, Dr. Fauci, the U.S.’s top infectious-disease expert, advised that congregating in bars poses a significant risk and is one of the most dangerous things people could do right now,” he added. “We must heed his advice.”
The full list of counties that will be required to comply will be released Friday, although the governor indicated that Washoe County and Clark County, home of Las Vegas, are expected to be included.
“Right now, our HHS teams are confirming the criteria that would designate a county in Nevada as a hotspot,” Sisolak said in an update Thursday night. “Tomorrow, I will be releasing that criteria and the names of the counties that will be required to close bars tomorrow at 11:59pm, per this directive.”
Additionally, the governor is urging restaurants to promote outdoor dining but prohibiting them from seating parties greater than six.
The governor also said they are “monitoring other areas where fellow States have taken action, like swimming pools and gyms,” but no action has been announced yet.
More via Las Vegas Sun:
Restaurants with bars are ordered to close the bar and continue to limit capacity to 50%. Bartops, regardless if they have gaming machines, will be closed.
Restaurants and casinos must close inside bar areas, but alcohol can still be served. Sisolak did not prohibit indoor dining, but is limiting it to parties of six or less.
He said masks must be worn at pools and water parks unless the person [is] in the water. Those at a gym must wear masks at all times when they aren’t engaged in a “high intensity workout.” Gyms, studios for yoga, Pilates, dance or other physical exercise are considered gyms, he said.
“Again, these are not decisions that I like to make, but I assure you, I am not making it lightly,” the governor said. “Especially while lawmakers are evaluating the budget reductions the State has put forward.”
“We know additional business closures will further effect [sic] our economy and impede recovery,” he added:
Protecting the health and safety of Nevadans is and always will be my top priority. Right now, that means reimplementing some of these restrictions in order to save lives and protect our health care system.
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) July 10, 2020
Nevada has reported 24,587 cases of the virus and 576 related deaths, per the CDC.