Nevada Gov. Sisolak Strongly Urges Residents to Stay Home, But Casino Visitors Still Welcome

Posted on: November 10, 2020, 10:13h. 

Last updated on: November 11, 2020, 10:42h.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday unveiled his “Stay at Home 2.0” plan to contain the COVID-19 pandemic that’s spread rapidly across the state in recent weeks.

Sisolak Nevada COVID
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said Nevada residents should stay home as much as possible to combat COVID-19 spikes. (Image: KOLO-TV)

In a televised briefing, he urged Nevadans to stay home as much as possible over the next two weeks and restrict trips for only necessary purposes. Residents should consider ordering-in groceries and meals, while employers should allow workers to telecommute.

Less movement, he added, means a lower likelihood Sisolak will have to implement harsher restrictions on gatherings and businesses in two weeks. He said he doesn’t want to take that step. In addition, he didn’t even want to comment on what those measures may look like.

However, while he encouraged residents to stay home as much as possible, the governor said visitors should still consider going to casinos, resorts, and other attractions.

No, they certainly should come, because they are protecting your jobs. But when they come here and stay in one of our properties, they need to wear a mask… If they’re going to play cards or a slot machine or whatever it might be, wear a mask. That’s what I’m asking,” he told reporters.

Nearly eight months ago, when Sisolak unveiled the first stay-at-home order, he closed all gaming activity and non-essential businesses in the state. Casinos remained dark for almost three months, and since reopening in early June, many casinos have yet to recover. Some have even resorted to closing in the middle of the week due to scant amounts of customers returning.

Casinos, Restaurants to Receive Stricter Enforcement

Sisolak conceded that it’s a “fair question” why casinos and hospitality businesses aren’t being targeted in this order. However, those businesses will face increased scrutiny to ensure they maintain social distancing standards. He said the state will fine businesses that don’t comply.

Despite the gloominess of his remarks, Sisolak said he remained hopeful the state can get all schools reopened and allow conventions, a vital cog of the state’s economy, to increase capacity to 50 percent to by Jan. 1.

“That’s the path I’ve laid out for Nevada,” he said. “We need to decide if we want to remain on it.”

COVID Cases, Hospitalizations Up Again in Nevada

Sisolak’s remarks come as Nevada has reported its highest COVID-10 caseloads in the past week. On Tuesday, the state reported 1,322 new cases, and on Saturday, the state set a record with 1,824 cases.

The 14-day positivity rate in the state is 13.7 percent, and hospitals have admitted 898 COVID patients. Sisolak said that’s the highest total in nearly three months. The COVID Tracking Project reports 231 patients are in intensive-care units, and 101 are on ventilators.

The state must reverse those trendlines, he added.

“The fall spike, predicted by all medical & scientific experts, is now our reality,” Sisolak said. “Nevadans need to accept and understand this reality now and change behaviors immediately.”

In all, the state has reported more than 112,000 cases since March, according to the Johns Hopkins University of Medicine Coronavirus Research Center. The death toll has reached 1,874.