Gov. Sisolak addresses Phase 2 reopening Nevada

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (KOLO) - MAY 26 Governor Steve Sisolak canceled his in-person press conference planned for Tuesday, May 26, and instead released details of Phase 2 reopening Nevada in prepared remarks.

Late last week Gov. Sisolak had visited a workplace where an employee – who was not in the building at the time, has since reported testing positive for COVID-19. The Governor’s Office learned of the positive test result on Tuesday.

The state will move in to Phase 2 on Friday, May 29. For more on the Governor's guidelines for Phase 2, click here.

MAY 25, 3:30 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak will hold a press conference Tuesday, May 26, at 5:30 p.m. to talk about the next phase in Nevada’s reopening plans.

He will be speaking at the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City and will be streamed online.

Pending evaluation of more data, Sisolak may allow casinos to reopen June 4.

Also on Tuesday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board holds an informational workshop to get an update on COVID-19 response at resort hotels. They will decide then if resorts are ready to reopen. Casinos must submit a plan for review by the board seven days prior to trying to reopen.

The board wants to make sure people will be safe if casinos reopen.
Phase 1 reopening began two weeks ago on Saturday. The governor’s office said it has been monitoring the data to see if the state is ready to move on to phase 2.

Sisolak reminded Nevadans to stay safe during the long holiday weekend, encouraging Nevadans to wear face coverings if in public, avoid large gatherings of 10 or more and to practice aggressive social distancing by staying at least 6 feet away from other people.

Copyright KOLO-TV 2020

MAY 7, 3 P.M. The governor announced at a press conference Thursday that Phase 1 of reopening Nevada will begin Saturday, May 9.

Restaurants are still encouraged to offer curbside pickup and delivery, but restaurants can open their dining room with restrictions. The requirements include no more than half their capacity and diners must make reservations.

Barber shops, hair salons and nail salons can also open with social distancing guidelines.

Retail businesses can open with social distancing requirements, but indoor malls will remain closed.

Bars, nightclubs and taverns that do not serve food will remain closed, as will gyms and fitness facilities.

Entertainment businesses such as bowling alleys, movie theaters, live venues, arcades and community centers will remain closed.

Brothels and strip clubs will remain closed.

Spas, tanning salons and body art shops will remain closed.

Governor Sisolak says there is no date yet for gaming to reopen, but the Gaming and Control Board is working on guidelines and requirements.

KOLO 8 News posted the full directive here.


 

Gov. Sisolak says the cities and counties can choose to maintain stricter standards and not allow businesses to reopen, but they cannot allow looser standards than those set by the state.

To see the guidelines and protocols for reopening, click here.

MAY 7, 12 P.M. On Thursday, Gov. Steve Sisolak is expected to announce a date for Phase 1 of reopening plans for the state of Nevada, now slated to happen before May 15.

The governor will hold a press conference at 3 p.m. from the Nevada State Legislature in Carson City.

You can watch the press conference live here.

Last week, Gov. Sisolak extended the Stay at Home directive to May 15. He also unveiled Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery, the State’s plan to reopen the economy while continuing to employ safeguards against COVID-19.

APRIL 30, 6 P.M. Getting Nevada back on track. That was the theme of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s address Thursday night, as he laid out his plan for reopening Nevada, one day after extending the stay-at-home order until May 15th.

The governor said the state appeared to reach a peak in COVID-19 cases on Friday, April 24, 2020. He recognized the resilience of Nevadans following social distancing guidelines, allowing the easing of some restrictions. The governor, though, said certain criteria must be met, including a consistent downward trajectory in cases and hospital numbers before entering Phase 1.

His “Nevada United Roadmap to Recovery” plan still includes social distancing guidelines and restrictions on public gatherings. The governor said he hopes to move into Phase 1 on or before May 15th.

Phase 1 – Battle Born Beginning – includes the following:

Continued social distancing guidelines

Nevadans should continue wearing facial coverings when leaving their home

Avoid all non-essential travel until the virus has subsided

No social events, or events with 10 or more people

Non-essential businesses (with some exceptions) may voluntarily reopen with restrictions as outlined by county commissions

Customers may be able to shop inside with certain conditions

Businesses that must remain closed: Bars, nightclubs, sporting events, malls, places of worship

Casinos and gaming will be determined by the Gaming Control Board

Will consider gradual reopening of dine-in businesses, with strict guidelines

Gov. Sisolak anticipates Phase 1 will last 2-3 weeks to allow the state to evaluate COVID-19 trends and determine whether more restrictions can be relaxed.

Before the state can enter future phases, when more restrictions on businesses will be eased, public health officials will review case numbers to determine whether or not it is safe to continue with reopening steps.

The governor also announced the formation of the Local Empowerment Advisory Panel or LEAP, a group of Nevada stakeholders who will share best practices and guidelines when it comes to reopening and will work with the governor’s office throughout each phase.

Under the reopening plan, all counties will be required to submit criteria reports to LEAP to monitor progress through all phases of reopening. The governor said, all counties will enter Phase 1 at same time, provided they are cooperating with these criteria reports.

The governor also noted that criteria will vary by each county and said reopening plans are customizable. “Response efforts should reflect regional differences,” he said.

When asked about some barber shops that plan to reopen on Friday, the governor said he is relying on the Cosmetology Board to come up with a proposal on how salons can open safely.

“I want to open up all these businesses,” he said, “but it’s not business as normal.”

The governor said businesses must comply with requirements set forth by local government, as well as guidance provided by professional licensing boards.

The see the governor’s full plan, click here.

APRIL 30, 11:15 A.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak will address the state Thursday evening to unveil his 'Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery' plan for reopening Nevada as pandemic restrictions ease.

According to a press release from the governor's office, his address will include:

..the State's plan to reopen the economy, put Nevadans back to work and transition into new normal while continuing to employ safeguards against COVID-19.

The address begins at 5 p.m. You can watch it live here.

APRIL 21, 6:30 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak said Tuesday evening that Nevadans will help determine the timeline when it comes to re-opening the state.

The governor was joined by experts with the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, the Nevada Department of Education, the Nevada Hospital Association, and the Nevada National Guard in Carson City.

The governor said while COVID-19 case numbers are down, we are not out of the woods, and stressed continued social distancing measures.

He said when social distancing is loosened too soon, and without a layered approach, resurgence of the virus is imminent. “We cannot flip a light switch and turn our lives or our economy back on too quickly.”

The governor laid out the framework for re-opening the state in phases. He said right now we are in Phase Zero.

The criteria for reopening the state includes in part the following:

Consistent and sustainable downward trajectory of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations over a 14-day period measured by a decrease in the trend of COVID-19 hospitalizations and a decline in the percentage of people testing positive.

Also, the ability for healthcare systems to maintain hospital capacity without crisis standards of care.

Once that criteria has been met, the governor said we can begin to discuss Phase 1. It includes measures which are in line with White House recommendations:

At-risk individuals should remain home until the outbreak has subsided

No social gatherings of 10 or more people

Avoid non-essential travel

Strongly consider using face coverings while in public.

For employers, Phase 1 includes returning to work in phases, and encouraging telework.

See images at the bottom of this article for more details on the re-opening framework

The governor did not give a firm date to begin Phase 1 re-opening plans, which would include progressively opening up different facilities, to allow people to gradually return to their normal lives. He did say more COVID-19 testing is needed before Phase One can begin.

Gov. Sisolak also announced that Nevada schools will remain closed for the remainder of the academic school year, and distance learning will continue.

Gov. Sisolak encouraged Nevadans to maintain social distancing, and praised those who have stayed home.

“You are the reason we’ve avoided thousands of deaths and a breakdown of our healthcare system.”

APRIL 21, 12:45 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak will give an update Tuesday evening about plans to reopen the state.

He will be joined by a team of Nevada experts to lay out the state's criteria to begin re-opening.

The briefing begins at 5 p.m.

You can watch it live here.

APRIL 16, 5:15 P.M. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday he is working on a plan to open up the state open and functioning again.

But Sisolak said he has not developed that plan yet.

“No one wants to get back to business more than I do,” Sisolak said in a press conference. later adding: "I will put the safety of our folks ahead of any profit."

Sisolak warned if the society gets opened up again too quickly, it would come at a risk of hurting the economy.

“This is worth getting right,” Sisolak said.

He expects more details next week. Any reopening will be gradual.

The efforts made to slow the spread of COVID-19 seem to be working in Nevada, the governor said.

“By many metrics, we’re one of the best states at taking social distancing seriously,” Sisolak said.

He also said it appears that people at socioeconomic disadvantage in Nevada have less access to COVID-19 tests and the state is working to fix that.

APRIL 16, 5 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak is addressing COVID-19 testing in the state of Nevada.

He will speak at 5 p.m. from Carson City. Watch live here:

APRIL 14, 6:30 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday that he has instructed the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to backdate all unemployment claims to March 13, 2020.

The governor spoke Tuesday, April 14, from Carson City and updated the state on unemployment insurance during the coronavirus pandemic, saying 300,000 Nevadans have filed for unemployment benefits in the last 30 days.

A key change for unemployed Nevadans is the system will set aside certain days to file based on your last name.

If your last name begins with:

A through K - your filing day is Sunday
L through R - your filing day is Monday
S through Z - your filing day is Tuesday
Anyone can file Wednesday through Sunday regardless of your last name.

Gov. Sisolak said Nevadans will be paid retroactively from the time their application was submitted.

He also acknowledged the many concerns his office has received regarding filing unemployment claims.

Because of the increase in volume, DETR has tripled its staff, increasing it from 70 to over 200. The state has also hired a vendor that will provide an additional 100 full time operators. This call center is expected to be up and running by the end of the week. DETR has also waived the "work search" requirement, considering many businesses are closed. The 7-day waiting period at the beginning of a filing has also been waived.

Gov. Sisolak also announced, that under the CARES Act, Nevada is among the early states in the country that will be dispersing an additional $600 to everyone currently receiving unemployment benefits. These payments will be backdated as well. The governor said some people may begin to see this payment as early as Wednesday, April 15, and payments will continue to go out throughout the week.

The governor said that for those Nevadans who have been unable to file a claim due to the unprecedented volume: you will not lose any benefits as a result of the overwhelming surge in demand. He said volume continues to impact the system, but benefit payments will not be reduced because of application issues.

Due to the increased demand, the governor continued to encourage Nevadans to file for unemployment online.

You can watch the address here.

APRIL 8, 8:45 P.M. Nevada Realtors sent out a statement saying they support Gov. Steve Sisolak's decision prohibiting open houses.

In the statement, the association said in part:

We recognize Gov. Sisolak’s need to issue this declaration. We also thank him for recognizing the use of technology in allowing virtual open houses and individual showings by appointment to continue in all properties, including vacant homes and those occupied by sellers, all while strictly adhering to social distancing guidelines. Our members understand this written order prohibits open houses and showings of single-family and multifamily rental residences and only allows virtual showings with the agreement and consent of any tenants living in rental properties.

The full statement is attached on the right-hand side of this web page.

APRIL 8, 5:45 P.M. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced new restrictions to help stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

There are now new limitations on worship services done in person. They cannot have 10 or more people. Sisolak, in a Wednesday press conference, urged religious bodies to find alternatives, such as over the internet.

Sisolak said it was not lost on him that the restrictions come during the holiest days of the year for some religions.

“If we allowed these services to continue as usual, we will see a spike in Nevada just as we saw in other states,” Sisolak said.

He noted statewide there are now 81 deaths. However, the State of Nevada is reporting 80 deaths statewide.

Other restrictions in effect until the COVID-19 crisis is over:



  • Sporting facilities like golf courses and public swimming pools are now closed

  • Showrooms for cars and household appliances are now closed. Cars and household appliances can still be sold and delivered to customers, but no showrooms

  • No open house showings of homes by real estate. People can still buy and sell homes and can see a house in person with an appointment, but there cannot be open houses for multiple buyers

  • Licensed barbers and stylists are prohibited from offering in-home services

  • Grocery stores cannot sell unpackaged bulk dry goods or have other self-service groceries for sale

APRIL 6, 5 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak addressed the coronavirus pandemic and the State of Nevada's efforts to mitigate the impact of COVID-19.

The governor started his address with the following update on COVID-19 cases in Nevada:

117 new COVID-19 cases as of Monday, April 6

To date, 1,953 people have tested positive

15,676 people have tested negative

46 deaths statewide

Governor Sisolak said there are still not enough testing kits in Nevada and said the the state public health lab is working to assemble kits.

The governor urged Nevadans to stay home, and said health care workers are working overtime to keep Nevadans alive. "They're staying at work for us, we need to stay home for them," he said.

He also encouraged Nevadans to wear a red ribbon as a show of support for health care workers, and as a way to say 'thank you' to our first responders.

The governor also provided an update on hospital figures, stating that there are currently 282 COVID-19 patients being treated at Nevada hospitals. He also said there are 838 ventilators statewide, and that 372 of them are currently in use.

An order for 450 more ventilators has been submitted to FEMA, the governor said.

As for donations, the governor thanked those who have provided personal protective equipment (PPE) for first responders. He said guidance on donations will be provided later this week in terms of items needed, and the manner in which to donate. Anyone wishing to donate can send an email to donations@nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.

He also said every Nevadan should wear a non-surgical grade mask when going out in public. "Face coverings reduce the spread of COVID-19 from infected individuals," he said. "We all ask Nevadans to wear an improvised face mask when leaving home."

Major General Ondra L. Berry of the Nevada National Guard also spoke about their response to the COVID-19 crisis.

Berry said on Monday, April 6, the Nevada National Guard activated 100 soldiers and airmen to support donation management and logistic missions in Northern and Southern Nevada. He also said they expect the president to sign an approval of federal funds at any time.

As a way to recognize those in the community who have had an impact during the coronavirus outbreak, Governor Sisolak asked people to nominate a Nevada hero. "Anyone who has made a real difference in our effort to stay home for Nevada," the governor said.

You can submit their name, photo, and a description of what they have done at NevadaHeroOfTheDay@gmail.com, or call 775-687-0437. They will be highlighted on social media platforms and other public forums.

The governor ended his address by reminding Nevadans to practice aggressive social distancing.

"This isn’t the time to have an Easter Dinner of 23 people in your immediate family," he said. "There could be a transmission."

Watch the governor's address here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jns_T8XdPew

APRIL 1, 5:35 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak has activated the Nevada National Guard to deal with the COVID-19 crisis in Nevada.

Activating the National Guard provides more help to deal with the crisis and the state can also request federal money to offset the costs, Sisolak said.

National Guard Major General Ondra Berry said people working in critical needs jobs in the civilian sector will not be called up.

Sisolak also said the state has eased requirements to allow more medical staff to work in hospitals and doctor’s offices. He called them the Battle Born Medical Corps.

Sisolak said more than 1,200 Nevadans have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus and 32 people have died.

He said 6 percent to 20 percent of those diagnosed with COVID-19 in Nevada have required hospitalization. Of those, 74 percent were admitted to the intensive care unit and 44 percent need ventilators.

APRIL 1, 10:30 A.M. Governor Steve Sisolak issued a "Stay at Home" directive for Nevadans Wednesday amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The directive also extends closure of non-essential businesses, gaming and schools through April 30, 2020.

This directive will go into effect at midnight on April 1, 2020.

“Today’s ‘Stay at Home’ directive strengthens the imperative that Nevadans must not leave their homes for nonessential activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19," said Governor Sisolak. “This directive builds on previous directives around school closures, social distancing, closure of non-essential businesses, and bans on public gatherings of 10 or more people by requiring you stay at home unless leaving is absolutely necessary."

The governor's office said essential employees should continue their work activities, making sure to take proper precautions, like frequent handwashing, staying home if they are sick and abiding by aggressive social distancing protocols.

MARCH 31, 8:05 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive extending deadlines that may come due during the state of emergency.

The directive extends the time Nevadans have to file legal complaints for issues where the statute of limitations may come due during the state of emergency, when courts are closed, or less accessible.

All licenses and permits issued by the State of Nevada or by local jurisdictions that are set to expire during this state of emergency have been extended 90 days either from their current expiration date or 90 days after the state of emergency is lifted, whichever is later.

Any business owner whose annual business license renewal fee is due during the declaration of emergency will have a 60-day grace period after the end of the state of emergency to file, renew, and pay their dues. Penalties on these licenses will not accrue for late payment.

“Due to the COVID-19 public health crisis, Nevada residents are facing restricted travel and should not be penalized for doing the right thing and staying home,” said Governor Sisolak. “With this order, Nevadans don’t have to worry about losing legal rights while they focus on staying healthy.”

MARCH 29, 4:10 P.M. There were press conferences today by Washoe County and the State of Nevada to update the status of the COVID-19 response.

Gov. Steve Sisolak said evictions on businesses and homes will be suspended for 90 days.

Sisolak also asked landlords to develop a plan to deal with people who can’t pay rent due to the business shutdown and stay-at-home order. Sisolak said they did not want families out on the street, making the health situation worse.

The plan does not mean free rent or a free mortgage, officials said.

Nevada State Treasurer Zach Conine said he has worked with financial institutions to waive late fees on mortgage payments for the next 90 days and people who miss payments won’t be reported to the credit agency. Conine said people have to reach out to lenders.

Attorney General Aaron Ford said he will give $2 million from settlement funds to United Way to help families in need.

WATCH GOV. SISOLAK'S ADDRESS HERE:

In Washoe County, the Washoe District Health Department said people are considered free of the disease if they healthy at least seven days from the onset of symptoms and also have gone at least 72 hours without a fever.

Washoe County's first COVID-19 death was a man who had traveled to New York City. He was hospitalized on March 23.

MARCH 24, 6 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak again urged Nevadans to stay home in his address to the state Tuesday night.

The governor said aggressive social distancing is our number one defense against COVID-19, but expressed concerns with people who are continuing to gather in groups and congregate, further increasing the risk of exposure.

As a result, the governor signed an emergency directive prohibiting the general public from congregating in groups of 10 or more people in any indoor or outdoor public space, including social clubs, parks, libraries, parking lots, and sports fields.

"This does not mean your home," the governor said. "If you live inside together, you can be outside together."

The governor also said the measure does not apply to the state's homeless population.

The governor also directed local governments to limit the public's use of recreational equipment, including playgrounds, basketball courts and baseball fields.

His announcements come as the Washoe County Health District reports six new cases of COVID-19, bringing the county total to 50. The district also reports four people who have fully recovered.

On Tuesday, the Health District of Southern Nevada also reported two more deaths in Clark County related to COVID-19.

Gov. Sisolak also weighed in on reports that people are having trouble filing unemployment claims. Sisolak said despite the reports, a vast majority of Nevadans are getting through. He also advised people to go online and to "keep on trying." He said benefits will not be affected as a result of delays some people are experiencing.

When asked about President Trump's comment that he hopes to reactivate the economy by Easter, and if Nevada is prepared to reactivate by Easter, Sisolak said, "Any decision about ending this, shutting it down, deescalating will be made in colnsultation with medical professionals, we're basing these decisions on facts and statistics, not on emotion or political gain."

The governor ended his address with a final plea to Nevadans: "If we practice social distancing, if we practice it diligently, we can prevent this virus from spreading," he said. "Please join me in taking this seriously and in staying home for Nevada."

You can watch his latest address here:

MARCH 20, 9 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak said Friday Nevada schools will not open sooner than April 16, in accordance with him shutting down non-essential businesses for 30 days.

Sisolak said the U.S. Department of Education also approved a waiver of federal assessments, accountability, school identification, and reporting requirements for the 2019-2020 school year as part of the Every Student Succeeds Act. It means no student testing for federal requirements.

“Each decision we are making in response to the COVID-19 crisis is based on the latest scientific data and recommendations from health officials, which can sometimes change as frequently as every hour,” Sisolak said in a statement. “I have been working closely with Superintendent of Public Instruction Jhone Ebert and the Nevada Department of Education to ensure our response to this unprecedented public health crisis is in the best interest of our students, their families, teachers, and all of the essential staff involved in the education of our children.”

MARCH 20, 2:20 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak expressed frustration Friday toward non-essential businesses that remained open in Nevada. In a virtual address streamed live on Facebook, Sisolak directed all non-essential businesses to close to help stop the spread of COVID-19.

"Previously I asked non-essential businesses to close. I'm no longer asking them to do that," Sisolak said. "I am directing all non-essential businesses to close."

He went on to say, “If you are not an essential business, I’m using my power as governor under an emergency declaration to order you to close.”

The governor said it is part of a new emergency directive he is signing that will go into effect midnight Friday, March 20, and will last until April 16.

By signing the directive, the governor said it gives local governments the authority to impose civil penalties including fining and revoking licenses of businesses that do not shut down.

If a non-essential business defies the directive, the governor said state and local law enforcement will have the ability to treat it as a criminal act.

Governor Sisolak echoed a familiar message throughout his address: to stay home for Nevada.

He cited the growing number of positive cases in Nevada, and said that positive cases have gone up 70 percent in three days.

“The numbers aren’t slowing down," he said. "We have not yet reached our apex.”

The governor said aggressive mitigation efforts are necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed.

"Waiting one more day to begin taking serious action to mitigate this virus is one more day of Nevadans getting sick and dying. If someone is telling you otherwise, they are either mistaken or recklessly incorrect," Sisolak said.

The governor said statewide, there are fewer than 5,000 acute care beds. Of the 5,000 beds, fewer than 700 are intensive care unit beds that are equipped to handle severe cases of COVID-19, the governor said. He went on to say that more than 80 percent of beds are occupied with a mix of COVID-19 and other patients.

“If we do not do everything we can to slow this virus, hospital beds will soon be filled with COVID-19 patients.”

Governor Sisolak also noted the disruption recent closures are having on gaming and hospitality in Nevada.

“I see it and I feel the damage this is causing," he said.

MARCH 18, 8:05 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday waived requirements that people applying for unemployment search for work. Also, they no longer have to wait seven days to get the benefits.

With the COVID-19 crisis, suitable work is not currently available for unemployment insurance claimants, Sisolak said in a statement. Waiving the seven-day wait will get money to Nevadans quicker, the governor said.

“Both of these instructions are practical, common-sense measures to help Nevadans obtain unemployment insurance benefits, while helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” Sisolak said in a statement. “My administration will continue to work with our federal delegation to identify additional steps that can be taken to ease the economic pain of families across our state.”

People can file unemployment claims here.

MARCH 17, 6:45 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak has urged the statewide closure of all non-essential businesses in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The governor addressed the state Tuesday, March 17, 2020 from Las Vegas.

The closures will take effect Wednesday, March 18 at noon and will be in place for at least the next 30 days.

The closures include bars and restaurants, though restaurants are encouraged to offer curbside delivery, home delivery, and takeout.

"Non-essential businesses have two options," he said. "Find other ways to serve your customers, or close your doors."

Essential services will remain open including fire, police, transit, and healthcare, in addition to businesses that provide food, shelter, and social services for disadvantaged populations.

Pharmacies, grocery stores, banks, hardware stores, and gas stations will also stay open, as well as truck stops to allow the delivery of supplies.

The governor said non-essential businesses such as malls, gyms, hair and nail salons, tanning salons, and barber shops should close until further notice. He also ordered all gaming operations in casinos, restaurants, and convenience stores must cease by midnight Tuesday.

As for church services, the governor strongly urged faith leaders to find other ways to lead services without bringing people together in person.

Governor Sisolak also urged people to postpone their weddings, and to limit attendance at funerals.

"I know there will be some who think this is an overreaction," he said. "I fully believe this is an appropriate and informed reaction."

The governor also encouraged all Nevadans to stay home. "This is not the time for sleepovers, play dates, concerts, theater outings, or athletic events," he said. "Do not risk your health or the health of others."

Despite the new statewide restrictions, the governor said the Nevada National Guard has not been activated.

MARCH 15, 3:20 P.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak said Sunday that all Nevada schools kindergarten through 12th grade will close beginning Monday at least until April 6.

Sisolak made the announcement in a 3 p.m. press conference in Las Vegas.

The move comes after Sisolak declared a state of emergency on Thursday.

There are 21 COVID-19 coronavirus cases in Nevada, with four reported in Washoe County. Most have not been confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The University of Nevada, Reno and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas are moving course instruction online, UNR students are on spring break this week.

MARCH 14, 9 A.M. Gov. Steve Sisolak formed a medical advisory team to provide guidance on the COVID-19 coronavirus.

The team will be led by Dr. Ihsan Azzam, Nevada’s Chief Medical Officer. This team will provide expert assessments and recommendations on steps Nevada can take to help mitigate and contain COVID-19.

The other members are Dr. Trudy Larson, dean of the School of Community Health Sciences at the University of Nevada, Reno; Dr. Brian Labus, assistant professor at the School of Public Health at the university of Nevada, Las Vegas; Dr. Paul Sierzenski, chief medical officer of Renown Health System Acute Care Division; and Dr. Shadaba Asad, director of infection disease at the University Medical Center-Las Vegas.

“Dr. Azzam and this medical advisory team represent some of the brightest and most well-respected medical professionals in the State,” Sisolak said in a statement. “In this rapidly developing situation, it is critical that we turn to those with expertise in infection control and public health to guide our decision-making, and I have full confidence that we’ve assembled the right team for the job.”

MARCH 12, 6 P.M. Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference in Las Vegas Thursday to announce he has declared a state of emergency in Nevada to deal with a potential COVID-19 outbreak.

The declaration gives the state more flexibility in preparing for and responding to any coronavirus outbreak, Sisolak said.

Sisolak said he is considering banning mass gatherings, as other states have done.

The state also set up a statewide hub to disseminate COVID-19 information.

MARCH 7: Gov. Steve Sisolak assured Nevadans Saturday that the state is aggressively addressing the COVID-19 coronavirus cases in the Silver State.

Sisolak spoke at a Las Vegas press conference to give an update on the COVID-19 status.

“To summarize, Nevadans work together,” Sisolak said. “When we discovered we had two presumptive cases of COVID-19 this week, we didn’t underreact, we didn’t overreact – we reacted. We took swift action and worked together."

“In the past week, there were road bumps and challenges, but every Nevadan should join me in being proud of our local and state health authorities, and the collaboration and communication exhibited between our local, state and federal leaders,” Sisolak continued. “We learned lessons, we improved, we identified needs, and we made the calls. I can tell you this, the CDC is listening.”

Sisolak recapped that one person in Clark County and one in Washoe County have tested positive for the highly contagious virus, although the tests still have to be confirmed by the Centers for Disease Control.

The state is marshalling federal, state and local resources to assess and combat the problem, the governor said.

“I know a lot of Nevadans have questions on why certain people are getting tested and why others are not,” Sisolak said. “I want to assure you that our local health authorities have been responsible stewards in their administration of screenings and risk assessments based on existing CDC guidelines, but I believe we all share the same desire to test even more people, as necessary.”

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