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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – March 20, 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 updates on the matter over the course of the next few weeks.

Please continue to refer to our Firm website for resources and information:

McConaldCarano.com/coronavirus

New State and Local Guidance

Governor Sisolak Press Conference – New directives were given by Governor Sisolak during a press conference Friday afternoon. These directives include:

  • All non-essential businesses are mandated to close;
  • Local governments have been given the authority to impose penalties for businesses that do not close, e.g. fining or revoking a license.
  • The Governor has issued a formal Declaration of Emergency memorializing his earlier announcement that will rely on the previous distinction between essential and non-essential businesses. We also expect emergency regulations to be promulgated with the Declaration.
  • A list of businesses and industries deemed essential and non-essential can be found at both the Nevada Labor Commissioner and Nevada Health Response websites.

Attorney General Ford Issues Scam Warning – Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford issued a warning via a press release Friday morning urging Nevadans to be cautious of potential scams related to the Coronavirus. This came after law enforcement agencies reported several instances of scams looking to take advantage of heightened fear in the community.

State Legislators Speak Out – Notably, State Senator Yvanna Cancela calls upon the private sector to step up and help community service organizations and nonprofits as they collectively deal with the public health crisis. Other state and local elected officials are sharing resources online and holding virtual townhalls to provide peace of mind to constituents.

Federal Government Developments

  • Tax Filing Deadline Extended – Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin announced that the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has extended the deadline for Americans to file their yearly taxes to July 15.
  • Defense Production Act – Trump announced Friday morning that he is invoking the Defense Production Act, a Truman-era law intended to accelerate production of high-demand medical supplies. Trump told reporters he has put the law “into gear,” though it is not clear to what extent the White House will utilize the powers granted in the act.
  • United States and Mexico Come to Border Agreement – The Trump administration has come to an agreement with Mexico to close the shared border for all non-essential travel. Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf said that essential travel includes medical purposes, to attend educational institutions, for emergency response/public health purposes and lawful cross-border trade.
  • Expected Legislation – Senate Leadership continues to meet with White House officials in regard to a third piece of Coronavirus response legislation. Introduced by Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, the bill contains an approximate $1-trillion in stimulus funds for American workers, small businesses and distressed industries. The timeline for passage is unknown as negotiations with Democrats begin.
  • No Standardized Testing – In a press conference held Friday morning, Trump announced that the Department of Education will not enforce standardized testing requirements for students in elementary school through high school for the rest of the academic year.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

  • Positive COVID-19 cases in Nevada reached triple digits Friday morning as there are now 109 confirmed cases in state.
  • The Southern Nevada Health District announced the state’s second death from the Coronavirus Friday afternoon. The first fatality was reported on March 16.
  • Coronavirus has been confirmed in five of Nevada’s 17 counties – Clark, Washoe, Nye, Elko and Douglas – and in the state’s capitol, Carson City.
  • Clark County has the most reported cases with 74. Five of the 74 are hospitalized.
  • Over 2,000 people in the state have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

Update from Nevada Industries

  • Retail Association of Nevada
    • Stores are quickly running out of gloves for front-line retail employees.
    • Many grocery stores and warehouses throughout the state are hiring to meet consumer demand.
  • Nevada Trucking Association
    • They are witnessing record levels of wait time in distribution centers.
    • Relying on government officials to get the word out that there is no food shortage and the supply chain is intact.
  • Nevada Hospital Association
      • Hospitals are implementing response plans and have deployed tents for screening.
      • They are in need of more resources and medical supplies.

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    >More frequent data collection allows the Association to track capacity of space and supplies, as well as survey what they need and challenges that are being faced across the state.

  • Nevada Bankers Association
    • All banks are currently open.
    • They advise businesses to be on high alert for fraud threats.
    • Policies to defer loans, waive fees and provide alternative options for suffering individuals and businesses are readily available.

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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