‘Alarming Trend’ in Nevada COVID Cases, But No New Restrictions: Sisolak

Posted on: October 21, 2020, 08:12h. 

Last updated on: October 21, 2020, 11:03h.

On Tuesday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) said there would be no new restrictions to combat the coronavirus pandemic, despite a wave of new cases. Sisolak said the state faced an “alarming trend” in new infections and hospitalizations, and there are fears that hospitals could be put under severe pressure during flu season.

Steve Sisolak
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak urged people to wear masks if they want to avoid more restrictions. (Image: LVRJ)

A rise in cases was to be expected after a widespread easing of restrictions on large gatherings. In September, Sisolak signed an executive order loosening the existing 50-person cap on large gatherings in a bid to ease economic pressure.

The order, effective from October 1, permitted get-togethers of up to 250, kickstarting the live entertainment, concerts, trade shows, and conventions that form the cornerstone of Nevada’s economy. It was, said Sisolak at the time, the first step in “getting back to our new normal.”

‘Virus Isn’t Tired’

On Tuesday, Sisolak also blamed the surge in new cases on “COVID fatigue.”

COVID wasn’t supposed to last this long,” Sisolak said. “We all feel COVID fatigue, and it results in riskier behavior and complacency. We can’t let that happen.

“Here’s my appeal to all of you: If, like me, you want to open more and not less, if you want our kids back in school, back in the classroom, if you want people to return to their jobs, this is what it takes,” Sisolak said, pointing to his mask. “This is the key. In a situation that can seem complex, it’s actually all very simple.”

Cases on the Rise

The previous day, Monday, Nevada had reported 582 new cases and two new deaths. In Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, there were 460 new cases and one death.

Cases have been rising steadily since mid-September, but state health officials have been cautious about blaming the increase on the state’s regained freedoms. Nevada COVID-19 Task Force Director Caleb Cage noted Monday that a similar rise is occurring throughout the country and around the world.

The number of deaths has continued to decline since mid-August, when the average hit 19 per day, although these numbers typically lag several weeks behind increases in new cases.

In late August, Nevada launched its contact-tracing app and urged out-of-state visitors as well as residents to sign up. It’s hoped the app will help trace the ebb and flow of a shifting tourist population, which has proved to be an impossible task for health officials since the state emerged from lockdown.