Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – June 29, 2020

Government Affairs Daily Update

June 29, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed as we continue facing the novel coronavirus. We will provide daily updates, with additional resources available on our website.

Additionally, we will keep you informed of Nevada primary election results and updates as they become available on our website and through additional e-mail correspondence. Please stay tuned for further information as it becomes available.

State and Local COVID-19 Developments

Phase 2 Extended Through July – Governor Steve Sisolak signed Emergency Directive 026 Monday, extending Phase 2 of Nevada’s reopening plan until July 31 at 11:59 p.m. Due to the rising COVID-19 trends in Nevada, Governor Sisolak said the extension is needed to expand contact tracing, while monitoring the impacts of Directive 024, which mandated face coverings. A press release Monday, however, stated the Governor will “not hesitate to take any action necessary to protect the public and prevent exceeding our hospital capacity, including reinstituting previous restrictions.” In addition to extending Phase 2 until the end of July, Directive 026 does the following:

  • All Department of Motor Vehicle (DMV) documents that expire between March 12 and July 15 will now be valid until September 13 at 11:59 p.m. However, customers are strongly encouraged to renew documents through the DMV’s website and kiosks.
  • Nevada courts will be allowed to move towards more normal operations with some collections actions allowed to resume, and the freeze on the statute of limitations set by state statute or regulation for the commencement of any legal action will recommence effective July 31 at 11:59 p.m.
  • All licenses and permits issued by the State of Nevada, Boards, Commissions, Agencies, or political subdivisions, that expired between March 12 and June 30 shall be deemed valid until September 28 at 11:59 p.m.
  • Any business license fee renewal that was due between March 12 and July 31 will be entitled to a grace period that will expire on September 30.
  • The open meeting law provisions laid out to conduct business safely and remotely while still allowing public participation have been extended.

Nevada Numbers Soar – In the course of a week, Nevada’s total COVID-19 cases increased an average of 4.1-percent per day, compared to the end of May when cases were averaging 1.4-percent per day. Clark County alone reported 697 new cases of COVID-19 as on Monday and four additional deaths, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. Additionally, Nevada surpassed 500 total deaths over the weekend, bringing the number to 504. During the press call Monday, Nevada health officials announced their intention to release a response plan designed to contain the virus amongst the demographic groups that have contributed to the recent uptick, especially those in the younger demographic and Latinos.

Culinary Union Claims Unsafe Working Conditions – Culinary Workers Union Local 226, which represents about 60,000 workers at Nevada casino-resort properties, filed a lawsuit against three Las Vegas Strip properties Monday alleging unsafe work conditions due to the spread of COVID-19. The lawsuit names The Signature at the MGM Grand, Sadelle’s Cafe at Bellagio and Guy Fieri Las Vegas Kitchen and Bar at Harrah’s as defendants, alleging facts that include guests not wearing masks, staff shortages, inadequate contact tracing efforts, and more. Since March, 19 Culinary Union workers or their family members have died from complications related to COVID-19, most recently a longtime Caesars Palace worker who died Friday after testing positive for the virus. Nevada casinos and resort properties must follow all health and safety policies outlined by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, guidelines that Culinary Union leaders say do not go far enough.

PAC Opposes Face Coverings – A new political action committee (PAC) filed official paperwork with the Nevada Secretary of State’s office, created with the purpose of fighting Governor Steve Sisolak’s face covering mandate while also working to oppose the re-election of politicians who support the requirement. In the filing paperwork, “No Mask Nevada” states the PAC was organized to “protect freedom and business from government,” after Governor Sisolak signed an emergency Directive last week making Nevada the 17th state to require face coverings in most public places. “Masks are a political issue of choice and not one for a Governor to mandate with the stroke of a pen,” the group’s vice-chairman said in a press release Monday, to which Governor Sisolak’s office responded with the following statement:

It is disappointing and outright dangerous to see any attempt to turn face coverings into a political issue during a public health crisis. The growing scientific body of research is clear: wearing a face covering helps reduce the spread of COVID-19. The State has lost far too many Nevadans to this dangerous virus already, and efforts like this will only make the pandemic worse. As the Governor said last week, wearing a face covering isn’t a political statement, it’s a medical necessity, a human obligation and it’s good for business. For Nevada to stay safe and stay open, face coverings must become part of all our daily routine.

No In-Person Golf Fans – The Barracuda Championship, the PGA Tour’s only Northern Nevada/Eastern Sierra tournament, will hold the 2020 event scheduled for July 27 through August 2 without spectators. According to officials, “the health and safety of everyone involved with the tournament and the surrounding area remains our No. 1 priority.” While an in-person audience will not be allowed, the event will retain its television slot on the Golf Channel. The Barracuda, which is in its 22nd year, was one of several PGA Tour events rescheduled due to COVID-19 concerns. The Tour has completed three events in June, all without spectators.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Monday, June 29

  • There are 17,894 positive cases in Nevada
    • This number is up 2,647 cases from Friday
  • Nevada has reported 504 fatalities from the coronavirus
    • This number is up six (6) cases from Friday
  • 314,388 individuals have been tested for the virus
    • This number is up 20,534 cases from Friday
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

National COVID-19 Developments

WHO Warns The Worst is Yet to Come – The World Health Organization (WHO) officials gave strong warnings about the COVID-19 pandemic Monday, declaring that “the worst is yet to come.” Tuesday marks six months since China reported the first cases of the virus to the WHO, as the novel virus has now killed more than 502,000 people worldwide, with over 10.1 million people diagnosed with COVID-19. Since the first cases were reported, the United States has become the worst affected country, with more than 2.5 million positive diagnosis and at least 125,824 deaths. Additionally, WHO officials announced that a team of experts will be sent to China next week to begin investigating the original source of COVID-19. The United States and other countries have criticized China over their handling of the outbreak, including the reporting delay to the WHO. According to officials, knowing everything about the virus, including how it started, can help fight the current pandemic and outbreaks that may occur in the future.

Remdesivir Comes at Costly Price – Gilead Sciences, maker of Remdesivir, a drug shown to help severely ill COVID-19 patients, will begin selling the antiviral drug to hospitals after spending weeks providing it cost free. The price will now be $390 per vial, which amounts to $2,340 per treatment course. Private insurers and uninsured patients will be charged more, at $520 per vial, or $3,120 per treatment course. While the company has been criticized for overcharging for its drugs, the price point comes in lower than what critics expected. Remdesivir has shown to help severely ill COVID-19 patients by shortening their recovery time by an average of four days. However, the drug does not improve the survival rate in those patients. The company has already donated 120,000 courses of treatment to hospitals.

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