Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 1, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

June 1, 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

George Floyd Protests Across Nevada – Nevadans are reacting to the death of George Floyd, the Minnesota man killed last week by police officers, as protests – both peaceful and violent – took place in northern and southern Nevada and across the nation throughout the weekend. The incident has triggered a wave of unrest across the country, and activists in both southern and northern Nevada took to the streets Saturday, protesting Floyd’s death, a black man. Four Minneapolis police officers have been charged after bystander video showed Floyd pleading that he could not breath while an officer knelt on his neck.

In Reno, what began as a peaceful demonstration drawing in over 1,000 people quickly turned violent, when a small group of rioters took to the streets defacing property with graffiti, smashing windows of cars and retail establishments. At Reno City Hall, some rioters smashed windows and started a small fire. Reno Police ordered demonstrators to disperse and ultimately fired numerous tear gas canisters to push the crowd away from City Hall. Ultimately, Reno City Mayor Hillary Schieve enacted a city-wide curfew and Governor Steve Sisolak called in the Nevada National Guard. In total, 23 people were taken into custody in Reno. While some of the arrested are northern Nevada residents, it is believed that several people who initiated the violent protest are not locals.

In Las Vegas, Sunday marked the fourth day of protests spanning mostly the Las Vegas Strip and downtown Las Vegas. What began as peaceful demonstrations eventually led to SWAT officers using tear gas and rubber bullets on some protestors. A small group of rioter’s broke windows at the federal courthouse. On Friday, police arrested 80 demonstrators, including two journalists. Twelve Las Vegas Metropolitan Police officers were injured. Most of the protestors were charged with failure to disperse. Despite Nevada entering Phase 2 to reopen Nevada on Friday, several downtown bars had to postpone their reopening dates due to safety concerns and fears of looting. Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo called Mr. Floyd’s death “deeply disturbing” and said the Minnesota officers’ actions and inaction are inconsistent with the training and protocols of our profession and [Metro],” and assured Metro would “strive each day to continue to build your trust.” Hundreds of volunteers in both Reno and Las Vegas turned out on Sunday to help clean up debris and graffiti left by protesters as a show of support for the community.

Several Nevada officials issued statements over the weekend in response to the George Floyd tragedy, including a joint statement from Governor Steve Sisolak, Attorney General Aaron Ford, and Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson:

“George Floyd was killed by a despicable and loathsome Minneapolis police officer. He and the other officers who watched, and didn’t come to Mr. Floyd’s aid, should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. Of that, we have no doubt. Here in Nevada, while racial, social and cultural divides still exist, we have made significant strides in confronting these schisms. In the last 20 years, community, law enforcement, and government leaders have been working together in efforts to address the issues that divide us and the tragic consequences of bigotry. In just the past few years, Nevadans have elected the first African American Supreme Court Justice, Speaker of the Assembly, Attorney General, Congressman and the fist Latina to the United State Senate. Despite those proud accomplishments there is so much more we must do to ensure social justice, equal opportunity, better education, and the overall eradication of all forms of racism in our communities and our state. To the protestors – we hear you and we are listening, and more importantly, we invite you to be part of a constructive solution, and the healing our community desperately needs. We respect and defend your right to protest, but please express yourselves peacefully. And, be assured we will not rest till everyone in our community feels safe and respected.”

Additional Cuts to State Agencies – Amid the strain on the state budget due to COVID-19, Governor Steve Sisolak is asking state agencies to prepare for additional cuts in the coming fiscal year by cutting another 5-percent from their budgets. This comes on top of a previous request made by the Governor last month to submit 4-percent cuts for the current fiscal year ending June 30, and between 6-percent and 14-percent for fiscal year 2021. Nevada is predicting a budget shortfall between $741-million and $911-million for the 2020 fiscal year, with 2021 likely to be just as significant.

Early Primary Voting Numbers – Early numbers posted by the Nevada Secretary of State’s office Monday show that 15.6-percent of voters have returned their ballot or voted in person in Nevada’s primary to be held June 9. The number of Democrat ballots returned accounts for 17.3-percent, with Republicans holding a slight lead at 19.6-percent. In total, 253,798 people have voted through the mail-in ballot system put in place in response to COVID-19, and 317 have voted in person, mostly in Washoe County.

Nevada National Guard Response – In a tweet last week from President Donald Trump, all National Guard members currently activated in states across the U.S. have had their Title 32 orders extended through mid-August, in order to help states with COVID-19 recovery efforts. In Nevada, 1,104 National Guardsmen and women are on duty, and have helped in many ways, including:
• Assisted in efforts being made at 316 care facilities
• Distributed 865,964 meals
• Supplied and distributed 86,048 units of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Federal Government Developments

Long Term U.S. Financial Projections – The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projected Monday that the COVID-19 pandemic will inflict a long-term blow to the United States economy, costing $7.9-trillion over the next decade, or a 3-percent loss in “real” gross domestic product. The estimates are an indication of the damage reflecting the anticipated dampened consumer spending and business investments. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D) and Senator Bernie Sanders (D), who requested the CBO report, have used the findings to call upon lawmakers to pass additional legislation that would provide nearly $3-trillion in economic relief, including extending federal unemployment benefits that are set to expire at the end of July. The measure previously passed the House but has been stalled in the Senate by Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R) who has indicated his desire to pass a package that is considerably smaller.

Nursing Homes Report Significant Numbers – The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are reporting more than 60,000 cases of COVID-19 among nursing home residents. While the numbers are partial, the report is based on data received from 80-percent of the nation’s 15,400 nursing homes. Officials have suggested that nursing homes should conduct frequent testing for all residents and staff, however it is estimated that one-time testing in nursing homes alone would cost $672-million. Nationwide, about 1.4 million elderly and disabled residents live in nursing and rehabilitation facilities, with more than one million staff members who may also be exposed.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, June 1.

  • There are 8,690 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 6,719 confirmed cases. Of those, 5,200 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,577 confirmed cases. Of those, 58 are hospitalized and 898 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 98 confirmed cases. Of those, 66 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 78 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 62 confirmed cases. Of those, 39 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 62 confirmed cases. Of those, 47 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 32 confirmed cases. Of those, 25 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 24 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Lander County has 19 confirmed cases.
    • Churchill County has seven (7) confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases. All four (4) have recovered.
    • White Pine County has four (4) confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) have recovered.
    • Lincoln County has two (2) confirmed cases.
    • Storey County has one (1) confirmed case. That person has recovered.
  • Nevada has reported 421 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 343 were in Clark County, 60 were in Washoe County, four (4) were in Humboldt County, four (4) were in Carson City, one (1) was in Elko County, one (1) was in Nye County, one (1) was in Churchill County, and one (1) was in Lyon County.
  • Over 146,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

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