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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 27, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

April 27, 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

Western States Pact – Governor Sisolak announced Monday that Nevada officially joined the Western States Pact, joining California, Oregon, Washington and the newest additional member Colorado.  In a press release, the group was defined as a “working group of Western state governors with a shared vision for modifying stay-at-home and fighting COVID-19.”

As part of the Pact, the Governors aim to work together to achieve the following four goals:

  • Protect vulnerable populations at risk for severe disease if infected.
  • Ensure an ability to care for those who may become sick with COVID-19, including adequate hospital surge capacity and supplies of personal protective equipment (PPE).
  • Mitigate the non-direct COVID-19 health impacts, particularly on disadvantaged communities.
  • Work together to protect the general public and ensuring any successful lifting of interventions includes the development of a system for testing, tracking and isolating.

California remains on lockdown with shutdown orders firmly in place since March 19 with no set end-date.  California Governor Gavin Newsom has said he will coordinate with the governors of Oregon and Washington – and now Nevada – to reopen the economy once certain benchmarks have been reached.  In Oregon, the stay-at-home order remains in effect “until ended by the governor,” while Washington is slated to tentatively reopen on May 4. Some of the first restrictions to be lifted in Washington will be outdoor recreation, including state parks, public lands, golf courses, recreational hunting and fishing, as long as social distancing is observed.

Colorado’s stay-at-home mandate expired Sunday at midnight, but the Governor issued a “Safer-at-Home Directive,” which is tentatively set to expire on May 27, but can be extended or amended at any time.  Beginning May 1, certain Colorado retailers can reopen for in-person shopping, as well as barbershops, salons, personal trainers and tattoo parlors.  On May 4, offices can reopen at 50-percent of their workforce following strict social distancing measures, although telecommuting is strongly encouraged when possible.  Notably, Colorado’s more relaxed order only applies to half of its state population.  Several of Colorado’s counties – including Denver, its largest – will remain under the strict stay-at-home order until at least May 8.

In Nevada, Governor Sisolak’s stay-at-home directive is set to expire on April 30, although some wonder if joining the Western States Pact is an indication that Nevada’s order will be extended, mirroring the lengthier shutdown orders of the other four states.  Governor Sisolak has said Nevada would need to see consistent decreases in positive cases over 14-days before moving to a Phase 1, where certain businesses could slowly start to reopen under certain restrictions.

Washoe County Update – The Washoe County Health District gave an update to the Sparks City Council Monday, offering an optimistic outlook on the region’s successful efforts to flatten the curve.  Health Officer Kevin Dick and Incident Commander Sam Hicks stated that hospitals in Washoe County continue to have good availability, with acute hospital beds at 50-percent occupancy, ICU beds at 49-percent occupancy and ventilators at 29-percent usage.  There is an 80-percent probability that Nevada hit its peak back on April 22, and it is anticipated case numbers will continue to reduce during the coming days.  There were 36 new cases reported over the weekend, which is likely associated with Easter weekend and family gatherings, further proof that social distancing is working and should be continued.  Additionally, officials stressed that while allergy season is upon us, if an individual has not had allergies in the past, or if symptoms seem worse than normal, they may have COVID-19 and should be tested.

More Supplies for Nevada – The Nevada COVID-19 Response, Relief and Recovery Task Force released numbers Monday related to the amount of new supplies they have acquired for Nevada:

  • 30,000 face shields
  • 50,000 safety glasses
  • 50,000 goggles
  • 79,000 pairs of gloves
  • 537 cases of hand sanitizer

The items are expected to arrive in the next few days, at which time the National Guard will distribute them to areas of greatest need throughout the state.

Assisted Living Facility Numbers – As seen throughout the country, the coronavirus has had a severe effect on some of Nevada’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities, spurring the National Guard to take on the responsibility of ensuring homes are cleaned, properly staffed and equipped with protective gear.  As of late April, nursing home residents accounted for more than one-in-10 COVID-19 related deaths.  In Clark County, 205 residents in homes have been infected, along with 197 staff members, and 24 residents have died.  In Washoe County, 55 residents in homes have been infected, along with 12 staff.  15 residents have died, along with one staff member.  As seen in trends throughout the country, these facilities tend to have the most cases due to the age of residents who typically have underlying medical conditions.

Steps Being Taken by Other States – As the curve begins to flatten, states across the country are slowly reopening.  Monday, Texas Governor Greg Abbott detailed plans to reopen the state for business, allowing places like retail stores, restaurants and movie theaters to open to customers at a limited capacity starting May 1.  Notably, Texas was initially slated to keep its stay-at-home order until May 15 but Abbott bumped up the date under certain conditions.  Additionally, doctors and dentists will be able to resume normal operations, however hospitals will still need to keep 50-percent of their capacity for patients suffering from COVID-19.  Georgia Governor Brian Kemp has fielded criticism for fully reopening businesses, theaters, private social clubs and restaurants.  A multitude of other states across the country are also showing signs of slowly reopening:

  • Mississippi – Stay-at-home order has been lifted and businesses can operate at 50-percent capacity.
  • Montana – Retail businesses are being permitted to open if they can adhere to strict physical distancing requirements.
  • Tennessee – Restaurants can reopen at 50-percent occupancy.
  • Alaska – Some businesses have been reopened with a limited capacity.
  • Arkansas, Indiana, Iowa, Arizona – Elective surgeries are now allowed.
  • Ohio – Medical procedures that do not require an overnight stay are permitted beginning May 1.
  • Minnesota – Industrial, manufacturing and office-based businesses that are not “customer facing” are permitted to return to work.

Federal Government Developments

Congress Goes Back to Work – The U.S. House of Representatives and the Senate will resume work on Monday, May 4, ending a month-long extended recess to practice social distancing and mitigate the spread of COVID-19.  Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell made the announcement Monday, stating that the Senate will “modify” its routines when they return to work.  In response to his decision to call the Senate back in session, he stated “if it is essential for doctors, nurses, healthcare workers, truck driver, grocery-store workers, and many other brave Americans to keep carefully manning their own duty stations, then it is essential for Senators to carefully man ours and support them.”  Before going into recess, the Capitol took a severe hit when multiple staffers and lawmakers were diagnosed with COVID-19.  Upon returning to work, it is anticipated a fourth stimulus package will be put forward, potentially addressing additional money for local governments, essential workers and health care.

Hydroxychloroquine Test Trial – Amid the debate relating to the benefit of treating COVID-19 with hydroxychloroquine, the University of Washington School of Medicine is recruiting individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 to participate in a clinical trial aimed to find out if the drugs can keep them from needing to be hospitalized.  The trial will gauge the effectiveness of the drug with the combination of another drug, azithromycin.  The two groups of patients will be enrolled in high-risk and low-risk categories, with patients older than 60 or with an underlying condition considered high-risk.  More than 600 patients total will be enrolled at sites across the country.  The $5.8-million trial is funded by the COVID-19 Therapeutics Accelerator, an initiative launched by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Wellcome and MasterCard.  Results are expected by July.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, April 27.

  • There are 4,693cpositive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 3,717cconfirmed cases. Of those, 2,351 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 804 confirmed cases. Of those, 40 are hospitalized and 265 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 36 confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) are hospitalized and five (5) have recovered.
    • Nye County has 33 confirmed cases. Of those, 14 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 37 confirmed cases. Of those, 16 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 26 confirmed cases. Of those, five (5) have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 19 confirmed cases. Of those, 10 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 206 fatalities from the coronavirus.  Of those, 174 were in Clark County, 27 were in Washoe County, two (2) were in Humboldt County and one (1) was in Elko County.
  • Over 39,000 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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