Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 22, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

April 22, 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

GCB Releases Requirements for Reopening – The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) released a memo Wednesday outlining the procedures casinos must follow in order to reopen once the state’s business closures are lifted. The six-page memo states that casinos must submit a “Reopening Plan” to the board at least one week before resuming operations. Several operational logistics must be outlined for the board, such as scheduling the replenishment of funds, procedures to ensure all liabilities to patrons are correctly accounted for, and payout receipts that may have expired during the temporary closure. It also states that all licensed gaming establishment must comply with local, state and federal COVID-19 health requirements. You can find the full memo here: Gaming Control Board Memo

Mayor of Las Vegas Calls for Reopening – Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman made national headlines this week as she continues to call for the rapid and comprehensive reopening of Nevada businesses, contradicting guidance from both the White House and Governor Sisolak’s office. Appearing on several major news outlets, Mayor Goodman reiterated how hard the Las Vegas economy has been hit over the last few months and offered Las Vegas to be a “control group” to determine whether social distancing measures have been effective. Goodman’s messaging attracted national attention from notable news personnel and public figures, including native Las Vegan Jimmy Kimmel who publicly called for her resignation in a Tweet Wednesday morning.

NSPHL Plans Antibody Testing – The Nevada State Public Health Laboratory (NSPHL) announced Tuesday its plan to begin conducting COVID-19 antibody testing on a limited basis in the coming weeks. While in its preliminary stages, the NSPHL anticipates that the antibody test will be able to determine if a person has had COVID-19 in the past, opening the door to a better understanding of the coronavirus’s prevalence in the state. Data from antibody tests will allow state leaders and public health officials the knowledge to make informed decisions when it comes to reopening the state. Director of NSPHL Dr. Mark Pandori emphasized that while the NSPHL can make antibody tests available, it will be up to the local health districts and officials to determine if and how the tests are used.

Additional Lawsuit Against Mail-In Primary– An additional lawsuit has been filed against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske in response to Nevada’s planned mail-in primary election June 9. The lawsuit was filed by True the Vote, a conservative voter fraud prevention group concerned with the potential for error that may accompany a mail-in ballot election. This is the second lawsuit filed against Cegavske after the Nevada State Democratic Party filed theirs last week calling for changes that would enhance residents’ ability to vote by mail. The True the Vote organization requests citizens still be required to request an absentee ballot and argues that the current plan in place goes beyond what is legally authorized by the Legislature. Secretary Cegavske’s office has not formally responded to either lawsuit.

Federal Government Developments

Southern States Begin to Reopen – After the White House released criteria for states to meet in order to reopen last week, a few southern states have begun the process of lifting restrictions on schools, businesses and social distancing requirements. Texas was the first state to pave the way as Governor Abbott announced the opening of state parks and the removal of restrictions for elective surgeries. By Friday of this week, Abbott plans to begin allowing non-essential retail services to open as well. Georgia, Tennessee and South Carolina have also announced their steps for reopening this week, which primarily focus on retail and restaurant services. Additionally, Michigan, Wisconsin and Idaho have announced plans to reopen portions of business by May 1. In the hard-hit state of New York, Governor Andrew Cuomo has committed to an extended stay-at-home order through the middle of May.

White House Press Briefing – President Trump held a press conference Wednesday afternoon to provide an update from his administration and health experts on the status of COVID-19 and individual states’ plans to reopen. Notably, the President back-tracked his push for states like Georgia to fully reopen as Dr. Anthony Fauci warned of a potential “rebound” in coronavirus cases. However, President Trump maintained that state governors have the ultimate authority to decide individual timelines. When asked about the potential for the coronavirus to return in the fall, Dr. Fauci said that there is no way to know, but the United States will have time to prepare if it does.

AFL-CIO Demands New Safety Measures for Workplaces – As states begin the process of reopening, public health concerns in the workplace reach new heights. In a Tuesday tele-press conference, AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka called upon congressional leaders and the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) to issue new workplace exposure standards for employers and institute American worker safeguards. The labor federation leader also voiced that workers should retain the right to refuse to return to work if COVID-19 safety measures were not put in place. A bill sponsored by the House Committee on Education, named the COVID-19 Every Worker Protection Act, would require OSHA to make all employers implement infectious disease exposure controls and forbid them from retaliating against workers who report concerns.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 22.

  • There are 4,081 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 3,218 confirmed cases. Of those, 1,963 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 710 confirmed cases. Of those, 40 are hospitalized and 195 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 34 confirmed cases. Of those, four (4) are hospitalized and five (5) have recovered.
    • Nye County has 29 confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) have recovered.
    • Carson City has 28 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 19 confirmed cases. Of those, five (5) have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 16 confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
    • Elko County has 12 confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
    • White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases.
    • Churchill County has three (3) confirmed cases.
    • Mineral County has two (2) confirmed cases
    • Lander County has one (1) confirmed case
  • Nevada has reported 174 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 150 were in Clark County, 20 were in Washoe County, two (2) were in Humboldt County and one (1) was in Elko County.
  • Over 33,800 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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