‘The time has come’ Gov. Sisolak drops mask mandate effective immediately

Published: Feb. 9, 2022 at 10:31 AM PST|Updated: Feb. 10, 2022 at 10:41 AM PST
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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - Governor Steve Sisolak on Thursday announced that he is dropping Nevada’s mask mandate in public places effective immediately.

Teachers and students will no longer be required to wear masks starting Friday, February 11, but, the governor said school districts will need to work with local health authorities to have plans in place to deal with outbreaks.

If a school board wants to require masks, they are entitled to do that, the governor said. The Washoe County School District says masks will be optional for all staff and students in the county, starting on February 11. Masks will still be required on school buses.

This week, more states eased restrictions and dropped mask mandates as COVID-19 infections fall. Governor Sisolak said his decision to drop masks was not a political one and was based off statistics, and what he called a considerable drop in hospitalizations, and also waste water testing showing Nevada is on a downward trend.

Federally, masks are still mandated in airports, on planes and on public buses.

Masks and protective equipment requirements in facilities serving vulnerable populations - like hospitals, clinics and long-term care facilities - will be overseen at the direction of the Department of Health and Human Services.

When asked what his response was to medical professionals who say we are not ready to remove masks, Gov. Sisolak said, “Everyone is entitled to an opinion on the subject. I feel that now is the appropriate time to move forward.”

The governor said he believed masks played a significant role in the fight against COVID-19, along with getting Nevadans vaccinated. But said, “The time has come,” to give people back some freedom.

He said he is hopeful that by dropping the mask mandate, it will increase business for local businesses, and will improve the unemployment issue, encouraging Nevadans to get back to work.

When asked if the mask mandate could be reinstated, the governor said, “Never say never,” and alluded to the possibility of another mandate if faced with a more severe variant of COVID-19.

For those Nevadans who are immunocompromised or who simply choose to continue wearing a mask, the governor urged others to, “Please be considerate and kind to people who are exercising their right to wear a mask.”

See more guidance from the governor’s office here.

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