Nevada governor orders 3-week statewide ‘pause,’ issues stronger requirements for businesses

Eufemia Didonato

Nevada governor Steve SisolakSteve SisolakFavorites emerge as Latino leaders press Biden to appoint 5 Hispanics to Cabinet Nevada hospital turns parking garage into COVID-19 surge unit Nevada Gov. Sisolak tests positive for COVID-19 MORE (D) on Monday announced a three-week “pause” beginning on Nov. 24, during which further restrictions will be placed on businesses and mask mandates will be intensified.

Sisolak tweeted, “Today, I’m announcing new restrictions, in an effort to get this wildfire under control. I’m not issuing a shutdown order. My goal is to aggressively try to attack this spread, while maintaining some portion of our economy and our daily life.”

In a Twitter thread, Sisolak laid out the new restrictions and changes going forward.

Masks will be required to be worn whenever a person is around someone not from their immediate household, indoors and outdoors. Businesses will not be closed, but restaurants and bars that have thus far operated at 50 percent capacity will now have to operate at 25 percent capacity with only four people allowed at a table. 

Dine-in restaurants will no longer be allowed to accept walk-in patrons, they will only be allowed to serve customers who make reservations.

Sisolak acknowledged the severity of the restrictions, saying, “I know the majority of our bars & restaurants are doing their best, but these settings are proven to be high risk because they allow the opportunity for people to remove their face coverings in indoor settings around people outside of their household. That’s how the virus spreads.”

Fitness studios, museums, libraries, amusement parks and gaming operations are among the businesses that will also have to operate at 25 percent capacity during the three week pause and they must enforce “strict social distancing requirements.” Retail businesses such as indoor malls will be permitted to continue operating at 50 percent capacity.

Going further, Sisolak stated that no public gatherings of any kind would be approved and private gatherings would be limited to 10 people.

The new restrictions will not apply to schools, with Sisolak defending that decision by writing, “as long as school buildings are closed, our economy can’t be fully open. Mom and Dad can’t go to work if they have children learning from home who need supervision. We must reprioritize keeping our kids in the classroom or getting them there.”

According to data from the Center for Disease Control, Nevada has reported over 130,000 total cases so far and just over 2,000 deaths. Like most of the U.S., Nevada is experiencing another, larger wave of coronavirus cases. On Nov. 19, the Silver State reported 2,416 cases in a single day, a new record for the state.

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