Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 2, 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:
State and Local News
Governor Sisolak’s Newest Directives – In a press conference Wednesday night, Governor Sisolak announced two additional emergency declaration directives aimed at combating the COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada.
Directive 011 temporarily waives certain licensing requirements for professional licensing boards that regulate medical services in an effort to bolster the state’s healthcare workforce. This waiver applies to individuals who are currently licensed in other states, individuals who have retired in any state with a valid license, and those with suspended licenses for fee delinquencies or failure to meet continuing education requirements. Additionally, these exemptions and waivers are only applicable to providers of medical services that have been deemed necessary by the Governor’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team. The full directive can be found here: Sisolak Directive 011
Directive 012 effectively authorized the Adjutant General to order the Nevada National Guard into active duty to assist in the state’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The effort will be led by Major General Ondra L. Berry in accordance with the Nevada Department of Emergency Management and the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. The full directive can be found here: Sisolak Directive 012
Nevada Union Threatens to Sue Over Collective Bargaining – SEUI Nevada, a union that represents workers across the state, is threatening to take legal action against Clark County after County manager Yolanda King announced the decision to suspend collective bargaining rights for more than 9,000 county workers. After receiving backlash from union employees, Clark County reference its legal authority to take “whatever actions may be necessary to carry out its responsibilities in situations of emergency” under Nevada Revised Statute (NRS) Chapter 288. During a virtual press conference Thursday, union representatives reaffirmed their position and announced they sent a letter to Clark County leadership asking them to reverse the decision.
Nevada Unemployment Numbers – A report released by the federal Department of Labor Thursday morning shows a sharp increase in federal unemployment rates and provides insight into unemployment state by state. In Nevada, approximately 163,700 unemployment claims were filed in the last two weeks. Due to Nevada’s unique economy fueled by tourism and gaming, the state witnessed a sharp increase in unemployment during the week ending March 14 but was one of four states that saw claims decline the following week, joining Minnesota, New Hampshire and Rhode Island. Nationwide, 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment just last week, doubling from the week prior. The Department of Labor’s full report can be found here: DOL Unemployment Weekly Claims
Nevada Receiving Additional Personal Protective Equipment – In a statement released on Thursday, Nevada Congressman Mark Amodei acknowledged the federal government for helping Nevada secure a Strategic National Stockpile shipment of personal protective equipment (PPE). As PPE and various medical equipment supplies dwindle across the state, this shipment comes at a vital time to alleviate many of the challenges of Nevada’s frontline doctors, nurses and health care professionals. The distribution of materials to facilities across the state will be done at the direction of Governor Sisolak and his staff.
Reno Mayor Asks Residents to Wear Masks – During a virtual press conference, Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve asked Reno residents to begin wearing face coverings when they leave their home. While there is no directive or recommendation from the federal government or health officials, Schieve said she wanted to take every precaution possible. She clarified that N-95 masks and other hospital-approved masks should be reserved for health care professionals. Instead, residents should opt to use more common household items such as scarves or bandanas.
Positive Facts and Figures – The COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force, formed by Governor Sisolak and led by former MGM Resorts CEO Jim Murren, announced Thursday significant progress in securing urgently needed PPE for the State of Nevada, which includes:
- 241,000 N-95 or N-95-equivalent masks
- 1 million pairs of gloves
- 2,000 surgical gowns
- 700,000 surgical masks
- 100 gallons of hand sanitizers
Federal Government Developments
2020 Democratic National Convention (DNC) Postponed – The DNC announced Thursday that its 2020 convention, previously scheduled for July 13-16, will be postponed until at least August due to concerns surrounding the coronavirus. Several states have already taken action to postpone their primary elections or move to a mail-only ballot system amid the fast-developing pandemic, demonstrating unprecedented changes to the way elections will operate in 2020.
FDA Uses Emergency Authorization for New Test – Under the national emergency declaration, the Secretary of Health and Human Services gave the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) the unique authority to authorize the emergency use of a certain product. Thursday, the FDA announced its first authorization for a coronavirus test from Cellex Inc. that targets antibodies in blood for a quicker diagnosis. While there is not a formal requirement that the FDA issue such an authorization for antibody tests to be manufactured and distributed, this authorization signals that regulators have confidence in the test’s validity.
Utilization of Defense Production Act – President Donald Trump announced an order under the Defense Production Act aimed at tightening gaps in the manufacturing of ventilators. President Trump asserts this order will help domestic manufacturers secure supplies necessary to build large quantities of ventilators that are needed nationwide. President Trump previously invoked the Defense Production Act last week in order to require General Motors to begin the production of ventilators. His official statement is here: Statement from the President on DPA
COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada
These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, April 2.
- There are 1,458 positive cases in Nevada.
- Clark County has 1,125 confirmed cases. Of those, 277 are hospitalized and the number recovered is unknown.
- Washoe County has 184 confirmed cases. Of those, 26 have recovered.
- Carson City has nine (9) confirmed cases.
- Douglas County has six (6) confirmed cases.
- Elko County has five (5) confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) have recovered
- Lyon County has two (2) confirmed case.
- Humboldt County has seven (7) confirmed case.
- White Pine County has one (1) confirmed case.
- Nye County has five (5) confirmed case. Of those, one (1) has recovered.
- Nevada has reported 38 fatalities from the coronavirus, 34 of which occurred in Clark County and four (4) occurred in Washoe County.
- Over 14,000 people have been tested.
Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada
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