Understanding and responding to the business and legal impacts of COVID-19

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 13, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

April 13, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed of pertinent information as we continue facing the novel coronavirus. We will be providing daily updates on the matter over the course of the next few weeks.
Please continue to refer to our Firm website for resources and information:
https://www.mcdonaldcarano.com/coronavirus

State and Local News

Reno City Council – During a special meeting of the Reno City Council Monday, members approved the new “City of Reno Public Health Emergency Advisory Board” which will provide input to the Council on issues relating to COVID-19. The proposed seven-member board will be made up of individuals appointed by Mayor Hillary Schieve in consultation with Council members, and any vacancy that may occur will be filled at the Mayor’s discretion. Mayor Schieve did not limit the qualifications a candidate must have, but suggested that medical professionals and doctors would be preferred. In addition to the Board, Mayor Schieve announced that officials are now estimating the peak surge will occur during the first few weeks of May in northern Nevada.

Nevada Attorney General Announces New Task Force – Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford and U.S. Attorney Nicholas Trutanich announced Monday the formation of a Nevada COVID-19 Task Force aimed at enhancing consumer protection amid the coronavirus. The task force is comprised of local, state and federal investigators and attorneys with substantial experience in handling claims related to consumer-related fraud and cybercrime. As the coronavirus continues to affect Nevada consumers, the number of scammers looking to capitalize on unknowing citizens’ hardships increases. Fifteen agencies are part of the Task Force, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the U.S. Secret Service, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.

ISO-Q Facility for Southern Nevada Homeless Opens – The City of Las Vegas and Clark County held a joint press conference Monday morning, inviting reporters to tour the new Isolation and Quarantine (ISO-Q) Complex at the Cashman Center where shelter and care will be provided for up to 500 exposed or infected homeless individuals. The facility has private rooms for quarantined individuals and will provide food, restrooms, electricity for Wi-Fi and television, medical care and on-site security. The facility will open around 6 p.m. Monday evening, after which all visitors will be prohibited per HIPAA requirements.

Battle Born Medical Corps – A week after Governor Sisolak called upon health professionals to join the volunteer-based Battle Born Medical Corps, 751 individuals, including 112 physicians, 294 nurses and 56 paramedics, have risen to the occasion to help expand Nevada’s medical capacity. The group reported the numbers Friday afternoon and added that 58 additional applicants have not yet been processed. Efforts to expand the state’s capacity also include Governor Sisolak’s Emergency Directive 011, signed April 1, which waives certain licensing requirements allowing for health care professionals to aid in efforts to combat the COVID-19 pandemic.

Coronavirus State-by-State – New data from FiveThirtyEight, a data and polling analysis website, shows the timeline of all 50 states implementing closures and stay-at-home orders, and how timeliness could correlate to the scale of outbreaks. Nevada was the second state to announce non-essential business closure, trailing one day behind California’s announcement on March 19. Hard-hit states such as New York and Washington were among the first ten to implement similar orders in an attempt to flatten their respective curves. Despite the large majority of states asking citizens to stay at home with the exception of essential tasks, seven states remain that have no mandated business closures or stay-at-home orders. Those states are Arkansas, Iowa, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. However, Wyoming did opt to close its ski resorts in March.

Burning Man Canceled – Black Rock City, the temporary metropolis built overnight by Burning Man aficionados, is one of the latest victims of the coronavirus after organizers of the iconic, three-decades old arts festival announced its cancelation last Friday. The event brings an approximate 80,000 people to the Black Rock desert in Northern Nevada annually and provides the local economy with nearly $75-million in tourism revenue. Beyond the economic hit, the cancelation of the festival also signals that an end to the coronavirus may not be as close as many anticipate. Originally slated to take place August 30 – September 7, Burning Man is one of the more distant events that has now been canceled as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Organizers are hopeful that an online simulation of the event could be possible, and a virtual Black Rock City will set a new precedent for the emerging online world.

Federal Government Developments

2020 Election and Coronavirus – While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to dominate headlines, candidates running for office in 2020 have been forced to adjust. On the national stage, the once full Democratic field has now been cleared, ushering former Vice President Joe Biden toward the party’s nomination. Despite Bernie Sanders suspending his campaign last week, the presidential hopeful did not announce a formal endorsement of his previous opponent until this morning. Sanders called upon his supporters to also back Biden and asked factions within the Democratic Party to unite. Given the likelihood of Biden receiving the Democratic Party’s nomination, the focus now shifts to a November match-up with President Donald Trump. In the past few months, the culture of the election has shifted from more traditional issues to how Biden would handle the pandemic in contrast to Trump. As COVID-19 remains prevalent in America, this issue will likely control the narrative of the election.

Beyond the politics, the logistics of the election continue to be examined. Primary elections in several states have either been postponed or shifted to a mail-in ballot only system, which may be an indicator as to how the general election will operate in November. President Trump has been vocal in recent press briefings regarding his disapproval of mail-in ballots, citing issues with fraud and prompting early disagreements between parties. Even more pressing than the general election is the party conventions, which typically draw thousands of delegates, media personnel and other attendees to a single enclosed space. Both the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention are still slated to take place late August.

First Round of Stimulus Checks – The first round of stimulus checks from the Department of Treasury will be directly deposited into some accounts no later than April 15, but only to those Americans who filed their 2018 and 2019 tax returns via direct deposit. Those who did not file taxes in the past two years are being directed to IRS.gov to enter their information and receive payments faster through direct deposit. There is no commitment from the Treasury at this time regarding people who will be waiting to receive paper checks. In addition, taxpayers who filed their taxes but opted to not receive their refund electronically will be able to use a new app to be launched next week called “Get My Payment” to expedite the delivery of funds. The expedited timing is a stark difference from the 2008-2009 financial crisis, in which several months passed before the first stimulus checks were issued.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 13.

  • There are 2,971 positive cases in Nevada.
  • Clark County has 2,444 confirmed cases. Of those, 623 are hospitalized and 1,082 have recovered.
  • Washoe County has 415 confirmed cases. Of those, 32 are hospitalized and 59 have recovered.
  • Carson City has 22 confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
  • Douglas County has 10 confirmed cases. Of those four (4) have recovered.
  • Elko County has 11 confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) have recovered.
  • Lyon County has 10 confirmed case. Of those, one (1) has recovered.
  • Humboldt County has 20 confirmed case. Of those, four (4) are hospitalized.
  • White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases.
  • Nye County has 10 confirmed case. Of those, two (2) have recovered.
  • Nevada has reported 114 fatalities from the coronavirus.
  • Over 25,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

About McDonald Carano

McDonald Carano has helped to shape the Nevada business and legal landscape for 70 years. With more than 60 lawyers and government affairs professionals in our offices in Las Vegas and Reno, we are Nevada's law firm for business. We proudly represent Fortune 500 companies, financial and governmental institutions, fast-growth and mid-market companies, entrepreneurs, start-up ventures, non-profit organizations and individuals. Our attorneys deliver cross-discipline, one-stop, commercial law and government affairs counsel. Our dedication to clients, innovative thinking and practical solutions based in sound business and legal judgments are at the heart of our practice. For more information, visit mcdonaldcarano.com, call 775.788.2000 (Reno office), or 702.873.4100 (Las Vegas office) or reach us by email at info@mcdonaldcarano.com.

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