Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 2, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

June 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 COVID-19 Developments

Governor Sisolak Announces Statewide Testing Plan –Governor Steve Sisolak announced the approval of a community-based testing, laboratory analysis and contact tracing plan designed to support state, local and tribal efforts to contain the coronavirus. The announcement followed the Interim Finance Committee’s (IFC) approval of $96-million in federal grant funds designated for Epidemiology and Laboratory Capacity. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services, Division of Emergency Management and State Public Health Laboratory developed the community-based testing, aimed at providing logistical support for local jurisdictions by supplying testing kits, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), and increasing resources for antibody collection. Strong emphasis will be placed on building and maintaining statewide laboratory capacity by expanding on public and private partnerships. Contact tracing, a large component of the Governor’s plan, will be an ongoing priority for the state as it serves as a critical component for prevention and control. Governor Sisolak additionally announced the approval of a standing order from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services authorizing any trained Nevada medical provider to collect testing samples in the state. Dr. Mark Pandori, the current Director of the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory was named the state’s new Chief of Testing and will oversee the collection, management and reporting of testing data as Nevada adjusts to its COVID-19 recovery phase.

Citywide Curfews Impact Casino Reopening Plans? – As protests continue to ensue nationwide in response to the death of George Floyd, Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony called for an emergency council meeting to discuss “necessary measures to protect residents,” including instituting a citywide curfew, after two protest-related shootings occurred Monday night. With just two days before casinos on the Las Vegas Strip and Downtown Reno are scheduled to reopen on June 4, Anthony acknowledged the potential conflict that restricting public outdoor activity may cause. Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman opted to withhold comments regarding curfew and other policy measures as long as investigations into the two shootings were being conducted. Meanwhile, City of Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve instituted a citywide curfew last Saturday and Sunday amid protests and “out of an abundance of caution.”

Additional Northern Nevada Event Canceled – Hot August Nights, the annual celebration of classic cars held each year in northern Nevada, announced Tuesday that they are canceling their 2020 event, citing the health and safety of volunteers and participants. The show has been held annually since 1986 and generates more than $100-million in economic impact for the region. However, Motorsport Auction Group, which holds the classic car auction in conjunction with the Hot August Nights event, has no plans to cancel their scheduled event. Next year’s celebration is scheduled to take place in the Reno and Sparks area from August 3-8.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, June 2.

  • There are 8,855 positive cases in Nevada.
    • This number is up 165 cases from Monday.
  • Nevada has reported 420 fatalities from the coronavirus.
    • This number is down one (1) case from Monday. The reasoning for the death toll decline is because one previously confirmed fatality was an individual who was not a Nevada resident.
  • Over 151,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

National COVID-19 Developments

Nationwide Primaries – Eight states are holding their primaries Tuesday, marking the first time in three months in which a significant number of states have cast ballots on the same day. Four of the eight states – Indiana, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island – were originally scheduled to hold their primaries earlier this year but rescheduled due to coronavirus concerns. Additionally, New Mexico, South Dakota, the District of Columbia, and Montana, who is holding a mail-in primary, will cast their ballots. Due to a significant number of delegates up for grab, there is the potential for former Vice President Joe Biden to officially lock up the democratic nomination, as he is 437 votes short of the needed 1,991 delegate threshold. 479 delegates are up for play in Tuesdays primary.

Wuhan Cases Nearly Gone – The Chinese city of Wuhan, where COVID-19 originally emerged, announced Tuesday that it has completed a massive campaign to test almost all of its 11 million residents in just a few week period. Children and those who had recently been tested were exempt. In total, no new symptomatic infections were revealed, and only 300 were asymptomatic. Testing was paid for by the government, which totaled $126-million in U.S. dollars. While new cases in the city were already low, medical experts state that the move was necessary to reassure residents and restart the economy.

Entertainment Industry Looks to Return to Work – Movie fanatics can rejoice, as Hollywood inches closer to getting back to work. Entertainment industry groups, including unions, actors, directors and crews, have come together to sign off on a 22-page guidance designed to establish safety protocols. The agreement outlines extensive testing, temperature checks, cleaning measures and physical distancing when possible. Certain activities, such as writing and casting, are encouraged to be conducted virtually when possible, and live audiences are discouraged. The guidelines have been submitted to public health officials in both New York and California, where the majority of production in the United States takes place.

Nevada Primary Election Updates

Nevada Primary Numbers – With Nevada’s primary taking place in seven days, mail-in voting continues to remain steady, despite lagging behind total turnout from the last two primary elections. Nevadans have been given the option to vote via mail or in-person, with only 514 voters taking advantage of the latter option, the vast majority who are registered Republicans. 253,871 individuals who have voted via mail. Voter turnout for 2020 remains at 15.6-percent, compared to turnout of 22.9-percent in 2018 and 18.5-percent in 2016.

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