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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – April 29, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

April 29, 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

Governor Sisolak’s Reopen Announcement on ABC – Governor Steve Sisolak announced in an interview with ABC’s Good Morning American (GMA) Wednesday morning that he plans to extend Nevada’s stay-at-home order previously scheduled to be lifted tomorrow, Thursday, April 30. The Governor indicated the first phase will start with easing restrictions on retail curbside pickup and allowing some outdoor activities currently shutdown. As Nevada prepares for its next steps, Governor Sisolak tweeted Tuesday that details of his newly announced reopening framework, named “Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery,” would be revealed Thursday. You can find the full video of his GMA interview here.

Nevada Hospitals to Partially Reopen – Tuesday night, Governor Sisolak announced hospitals were preparing to resume “medically necessary” elective procedures, the first sign that capacity is stable due to a decline in COVID-19 cases. Unlike other industries that were temporarily closed through an emergency order, the Governor had not previously issued a directive for hospital procedures. Instead, most Nevada hospitals postponed unnecessary visits to reserve resources and capacity for a potential influx of COVID-19 cases. In a statement, Governor Sisolak said that hospitals can determine which procedures are defined as medically necessary by using clinical judgment, existing guidelines and the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE).

New Polling Numbers – A poll released Wednesday from the Retail Association of Nevada (RAN) reveals that President Donald Trump’s approval numbers in the state are growing, while Governor’s Sisolak’s continue to fall. The President’s positive rating has increased from 50% to 55% over the past five weeks, while the Governor’s net approval rating over that same time period has decreased from 64% to 51%. Additionally, when asked whether participants agreed with Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman to reopen Las Vegas immediately, 35-percent indicated that they ‘strongly disagree’. 376 Nevadans who were employed full time or part time as of March 1 participated in the April 28 survey, 32% were Democrats, 31% were Republicans, 25% were nonpartisan and the remainder were “other.” The poll has a margin of error of 5-percent.

Gaming Revenue Declines – The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Wednesday that gaming revenue was down nearly 40-percent compared to the same month a year ago, after casinos were ordered to close by midnight March 17. In total, casinos brought in $618-million in March, down from just over $1-billion during March 2019. The Las Vegas Strip took a 46-percent hit, down $300-million, while revenues in Reno brought in $22-million, down 55-percent. In total, the state took in $37-million in gaming tax revenue in March, down 54-percent, or $43-million less from what was collected during March 2019.

Will Schools Reopen for Summer? – California Governor Gavin Newsom indicated Tuesday that schoolchildren in the state may be able to return to their classrooms as soon as late July. This is the first statement regarding the potential reopening of schools from a governor that is part of the Western States Pact. While Newsom acknowledged that no official decision has been made, all five Governors in the Pact must agree on a unified plan. Monday, Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada had joined California, Colorado, Oregon and Washington in the Pact to work together with a shared vision for modifying stay-at-home orders and reopen their states in an agreed-upon approach.

Federal Government Developments

New Potential COVID-19 Drug – Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, touted a new drug, remdesivir to potentially treat COVID-19, stating that it is “opening the door” to the ability to better treat patients. A randomized trial of the drug resulted in shorter periods of patients experiencing symptoms and a slightly reduced mortality rate. About 1,090 people participated in the trial internationally, with preliminary data showing that the drug improved recovery time for patients from 15 to 11 days. While the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not yet approved the drug to treat COVID-19, they are working with Gilead Sciences, the maker of remdesivir, to increase availability. It is expected that Emergency Use Authorization of the drug – an authority given to the FDA in light of the nation’s emergency declaration – will be coming in the next few days.

Proposed Liability Shield for Companies – Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Monday that a broad liability shield protecting companies from lawsuits as the country reopens will be a top Republican priority in the fourth COVID-19 stimulus package. The protections would cover everyone from small-business owners to large companies in an effort to revive the economy. McConnell said the liability shield will be an important point in his negotiations because “trial lawyers are sharpening their pencils to come after health care providers and businesses, arguing that somehow the decision they made with regard to reopening adversely affected the health of someone else.” Some states have already passed laws giving health care providers immunity, and the original CARES Act included some provisions, such as protections for health care workers who volunteer over state lines. While Republicans look at liability protection, Democrats continue to focus on funding for state, local and tribal governments for the fourth stimulus and relief package.

Gross Domestic Product Shrinks – The U.S. Commerce Department released a report Wednesday showing that Gross Domestic Product (GDP) shrank by 4.8-percent in the first quarter of 2020, a result of COVID-19 stay-at-home orders. This was the first negative GDP report since the first quarter of 2014 which showed a 1.4-percent decline, and the largest drop since the fourth quarter of 2008 when it fell 8.4-percent during the Great Recession. Additionally, retail sales dropped by 8.7-percent in March. GDP is the total market value of goods and services produced over a specific time period and is viewed as a measure of a country’s economic health.

Big-Box Store Requires Face Masks – Costco is now the largest U.S. retailer to enact a rule requiring customers to wear face masks or coverings in its stores beginning May 4. The measure requires face coverings to be worn at all times in the store and notes that the policy will not serve as a “substitute for social distancing.” Certain exemptions are applied, including for accompanied children under the age of two and people who cannot wear one due to a medical condition. While many states are requiring shoppers to wear masks when visiting essential businesses, the majority of states only recommend the precaution but stop short of a requirement.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, April 29.

  • There are 4,934 positive cases in Nevada.

• Clark County has 3,891 confirmed cases. Of those, 2,507 have recovered.
• Washoe County has 848 confirmed cases. Of those, 37 are hospitalized and 321 have recovered.
• Humboldt County has 38 confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) are hospitalized and five (5) have recovered.
• Nye County has 35 confirmed cases. Of those, 14 have recovered.
• Carson City has 44 confirmed cases. Of those, 18 have recovered.
• Lyon County has 27 confirmed cases. Of those, five (5) have recovered.
• Douglas County has 19 confirmed cases. Of those, 11 have recovered.
• Elko County has 15 confirmed cases. Of those, 10 have recovered.
• White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases.
• Churchill County has three (3) confirmed cases.
• Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases.
• Lander County has seven (7) confirmed cases.

  • Nevada has reported 230 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 196 were in Clark County, 30 were in Washoe County, two (2) were in Humboldt County, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Carson City.
  • Over 41,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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