NV COVID Task Force votes to allow Washoe Co. bars to reopen

Bars closed Washoe County
Bars closed Washoe County(KOLO)
Published: Sep. 10, 2020 at 10:27 AM PDT|Updated: Sep. 10, 2020 at 12:52 PM PDT
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - UPDATE: The Nevada COVID Task Force has approved Washoe County’s plan to reopen bars, taverns and pubs that do not serve food. The reopening date is Wednesday, September 16, 2020 at 11:59 P.M.

The Task Force was supposed to take up the plans for Washoe, Clark, Elko and Nye Counties next week. However, the Task Force commissioners expressed their satisfaction with the updated Washoe County plan.

The vote requires some changes to Washoe County’s plan, including enforcement penalties.

The Task Force also voted to remove Humboldt and Lander Counties from oversight unless their COVID numbers worsen.

Lyon County was previously removed from oversight.

ORIGINAL STORY: It’s a big day for Washoe County bars forced to close under a state directive issued amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force is meeting Thursday, September 10, 2020 to decide if bars can reopen.

The discussion comes as bar owners are urged to join a COVID-19 coalition that is working with local jurisdictions to come up with plans to reopen bars safely with COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Bar owners have expressed frustration over the past several weeks, claiming they are being unfairly targeted.

The Washoe County Bar/Taproom Coalition drafted guidelines to reopen safely based off standards from other states where bars are open and Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) guidance.

The Washoe County Health District reviewed the plans and made recommendations that were agreed upon. The local jurisdictions will submit these plans to the Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force for Thursday’s meeting.

“The regional agencies in Washoe County are working with bar owners on COVID-19 mitigation measures so they can open safely,” Washoe County Manager Eric Brown said. “We need input and buy-in from all our bar, tavern, pub, brewery and winery owners to make that happen.”

According to the Washoe County Health District, more than 30 local bar owners have signed an operating agreement to work together with local officials to create and implement COVID-19 safety operating procedures.

"Bars in Washoe County have been closed or doing to-go sales only for 24 of the last 26 weeks. This is having a huge impact on business owners, their staffs and all the families involved as many have lost more than 50% of their normal revenue,” Matt Johnson, co-founder of IMBĪB, said. “We appreciate the local entities working with us. Given the opportunity, bar owners are more than prepared to serve those in Washoe County and do so in a manner with strict protocols and protections for customers and employees.”

Bar owners who wish to be included in the coalition discussions can contact Johnson at

Copyright 2020 KOLO. All rights reserved.

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