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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 1, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 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:
https://www.mcdonaldcarano.com/coronavirus

State and Local News

Emergency Directive 017 – Governor Steve Sisolak signed his seventeenth emergency directive Friday morning to provide additional economic relief to Nevadans. The directive freezes certain garnishment actions and executions of judgements against bank accounts, including Nevadans receiving the CARES Act stimulus funds. The directive does not apply to judgements for child support, spousal support or to restitution to victims of crimes. In signing the directive, Governor Sisolak follows the lead of other state governors in the Western State Pact – California, Oregon and Washington. The full directive can be found here:  Emergency Directive 017

Washoe County Press Briefing – Despite the statewide 6-day decline in daily new cases, Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick reported its highest single-day jump Friday morning, totaling 48 new COVID-19 cases in the region. With the release of the Governor’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery, he added that health officials cannot see a time in the near future when relaxing current measures would be realistic. During the briefing, Washoe County Commission Chair Bob Lucey said as the state begins to move into Phase 1 of Nevada’s recovery plan, of the Cities of Reno and Sparks and Washoe County will act in close coordination with one another to ensure the jurisdictions do not vary in policies and restrictions.

California’s Plan – Governor Sisolak laid out the framework for Nevada’s state-specific reopening plan Thursday night, two days after California Governor Gavin Newsom revealed California’s plan. Similar to Nevada, California’s plan identifies four stages for reopening. California is in its first stage, which emphasizes implementation of new safety standards for essential workplaces. The second stage, the timeline of which has been identified as “weeks away,” allows lower-risk businesses and public spaces to reopen with strong social distancing measures. Businesses identified as high-risk such as nail and hair salons, gyms, movie theaters and sporting events are reserved for Stage 3. Stage 4 signals a full reopening of all conventions, concerts and other public events, however it is dependent on there being either treatment or a vaccine for the coronavirus. The similar plans are likely a reflection of the two states’ participation in the Western States Pact, which was created to allow states in the region to collaborate on strategy to reopen respective economies.

Reno Nursing Facility Accounts for Half of Washoe’s COVID-19 Deaths – In Washoe County, nearly half of region’s 32 COVID-19 related deaths have originated from a single nursing facility in Reno – Lakeside Health and Wellness. Despite early measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus such as prohibiting outside visitors and minimizing contact between residents, 64 residents and 20 staff members of the facility have tested positive as of Thursday. Additionally, 14 residents and one staff member have died. As shortages on personal protective equipment (PPE) grew in late March, residents, nurses and other staff members were unable to access gloves and masks required to prevent the spread. Since the initial outbreak, daily screenings and monitoring of residents and staff at Lakeside Health and Wellness has increased.

CCSD Rolls Out WiFi Buses – Clark County School District began a new program Friday that provides WiFi-enabled buses for students across the valley. The buses run on 13 routes in 75-minute increments to allow students to access WiFi and complete online learning activities. The unconventional model is an additional step the school district is taking to address large discrepancies in student access to the internet amid distance learning.

Federal Government Developments

FDA Authorizes New Drug to Treat COVID-19 – In an unscheduled press announcement Friday afternoon, President Trump told reporters the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized the emergency use of the drug remdesivir to treat the coronavirus. The FDA utilized its unique Emergency Use Authorization power given by the Department of Health and Human Services for the duration of the public health crisis, allowing the administration to bypass certain requirements. The approval comes after results from a government-sponsored study showed the drug shortened the time of recovery by an average of 31-percent, or four days, for COVID-19 patients. The company that makes the drug, Gilead Sciences, is currently ramping up production for widespread distribution.

Southwest Airlines’ New Protocol – In a press release Friday afternoon, Southwest Airlines announced several changes to the company’s protocol to include additional safety measures for both employees and customers. The “Southwest Promise,” as it was referred to in the statement, will include thorough and diligent cleanings of aircrafts between flights, as well as changes to the boarding process and limits on the number of passengers on board to promote personal space. There are no concrete numbers on what the new aircraft capacity may be, however the policies relating to capacity are currently only being enforced through June. Additionally, every person on the aircraft – employees and passengers – will be required to wear face masks or coverings. If a passenger does not have a face mask, one will be provided by Southwest. Snack and beverage services remain discontinued for the time being. Southwest joins the ranks of some of the country’s largest airlines – JetBlue, United, Delta and American – in requiring face masks on board.

Gene Sequencing – The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced a national initiative Thursday aimed at speeding up research into how COVID-19 was spreading across the country before the first cases were reported. At least 75 public health and academic officials and commercial institutions have come together to trace patterns of transmission and investigate outbreaks through gene sequencing. The group will also be able to provide an understanding of diagnostic tests and the effectiveness of treatments and vaccines. Gene sequences have been used in the past to help track Influenza and Ebola, and countries like Great Britain and Canada have already pledged millions of dollars toward similar efforts in their countries.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 1.

  • There are 5,227 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 4,118 confirmed cases. Of those, 2,756 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 921 confirmed cases. Of those, 43 are hospitalized and 343 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 45 confirmed cases. Of those, 21 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 44 confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) are hospitalized and five (5) have recovered.
    • Nye County has 37 confirmed cases. Of those, 18 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 28 confirmed cases. Of those, eight (8) have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 19 confirmed cases. Of those, 12 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 15 confirmed cases. Of those, 10 have recovered.
    • Lander County has seven (7) confirmed cases.
    • White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases. All three (3) have recovered.
    • Churchill County has three (3) confirmed cases.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases.
  • Nevada has reported 243 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 206 were in Clark County, 32 were in Washoe County, two (2) were in Humboldt County, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Carson City.
  • Over 43,500 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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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