Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 13, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 13, 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

IFC Declares Fiscal Emergency – The Interim Finance Committee (IFC) unanimously voted to declare a fiscal emergency Wednesday morning, one of the steps necessary to access the nearly $400-million in the state’s Rainy Day fund. Additionally, the committee approved several initial federal COVID-19 relief funds for state and local agencies. The moves come after Governor Steve Sisolak declared a fiscal emergency on Monday in response to the substantial shortfall in state revenue for this fiscal year as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. The committee also heard an update on an additional $836-million federal grant the state will receive to support state and local agencies after Governor Sisolak requested all state agencies submit a proposal to his office identifying 4-percent budget cuts last month. Susan Brown with the Governor’s Finance Office noted that the office is still working through the proposals and several decisions still need to be made before the status of the state’s budget can be made clear. Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson said in the meeting that transparency on the allocation of funds is a priority. IFC is scheduled to meet again next Monday to approve additional federal grants.

MGM Reopening Plan – As Nevada begins to enter its recovery phase and industries plan to reopen, MGM Resorts introduced its comprehensive reopening plans on Tuesday that account for additional safety precautions for both employees and guests. MGM identified its seven-point plan as follows:

1. Screening, temperature checks and training
2. Personal protective equipment
3. Physical distancing
4. Hand washing and sanitization
5. HVAC control and air quality
6. Incident response protocol
7. Digital innovation

MGM said they will provide temperature checks to employees upon arriving to work and ask that guests “self-screen” for symptoms before coming on property. All MGM employees will be required to wear a face covering while working and guests will be encouraged to do so as well. Additionally, floors will be marked in necessary areas to encourage six feet of distance between guests. The full seven-point safety plan can be found here: MGM Resorts Safety Plan.

Reno-Tahoe Airport Traffic Down 95-Percent – In a press call on Wednesday, Reno-Tahoe Airport Authority CEO Marily Mora noted passenger traffic in the airport is down roughly 95-percent this month as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to disrupt travel. About 545 passengers were expected to fly out of the airport on Wednesday, a substantial amount lower than the roughly 5,500 passengers seen this time last year. However, the number is up from the approximate 200 daily passengers seen in mid-April at the height of social distancing orders. Mora projects it may be years before the airport returns to its pre-pandemic levels of normalcy. Currently, airport staff are required to wear facial protection as one of the several steps the airport is taking to protect both employees and passengers.

Washoe County Partners with UNR for Antibody Study – The Washoe County Health District announced its partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno this week to conduct a nationwide antibody study to determine how widely the disease has spread. The Health District plans to collect the first samples in June and will additionally administer two more waves of testing in the fall and following next flu season.

Reno Air Races Flyover – The Reno Air Races will hold a flyover Friday afternoon, conducted by the Stihl National Championship Air Races and Lightning Formation Airshows, to honor first responders, medical staff, essential workers and military personnel. The show will feature an added twist with aerial smoke hearts being left over local hospitals in Reno and Sparks. The show will begin at 1:00 p.m. and the team will create hearts over Northern Nevada Medical Center around 1:30 p.m. and downtown Reno to honor both Renown Health and St. Mary’s Medical Center around 1:45 p.m.

Federal Government Developments

Legislation from House Democrats – House Speaker Nancy Pelosi unveiled the House Democrats’ $3-trillion relief package Tuesday afternoon that contains additional funding for state and local governments, compensation for essential workers and another round of stimulus payments for individuals and families. Despite Speaker Pelosi’s advocacy for the quick action over the past few weeks, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has suggested taking a slower approach to the federal government’s Phase 4 package, hoping to alleviate the strain on the national debt and continue to provide aid to employers. Republicans have indicated a need for liability protections for businesses and health care employers in the next legislation, something that is left out of Speaker Pelosi’s bill. Democrats hope to bring the 1,800 page bill, nicknamed the Heroes Act, to a vote as early as Friday.

New Data Suggests Nationwide Decline – New national statistics from Our World in Data indicates the United States is beginning to experience a consistent and sharper decline in daily new COVID-19 cases since its current peak on April 26. Full data on the status of COVID-19 in the United States and how it compares to other countries can be found here: Our World in Data – Coronavirus.

Millions Begin to Leave Home – In a study conducted by the New York Times by using cellphone data, it was found that approximately 25-million more people ventured outside of their homes last week than during the past six weeks, likely in response to the easing of stay-at-home orders in several states. At the peak of sheltering in place, approximately 43.8-percent of U.S. residents – about 114 million people – stayed home. Last week, the percentage dropped to 36.1-percent. Michigan is home to the largest drop in people staying home, despite its stay-at-home order remaining in place, while Arizona saw the smallest drop. Nevada witnessed a 6.7-percent drop in its residents staying at home. Full data can be found here: NYT Percentage of People Staying Home.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 13.

  • There are 6,394 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 5,045 confirmed cases. Of those, 4,221 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,132 confirmed cases. Of those, 44 are hospitalized and 562 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 58 confirmed cases. Of those, 42 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 71 confirmed cases. Of those, one (1) is hospitalized and 13 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 49 confirmed cases. Of those, 19 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 45 confirmed cases. Of those, 22 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 24 confirmed cases. Of those, 20 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 18 confirmed cases. Of those, 12 have recovered.
    • Lander County has 19 confirmed cases.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases. All four (4) have recovered.
    • White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases. All three (3) have recovered.
    • Churchill County has five (5) confirmed cases.
    • Lincoln County has two (2) confirmed cases.
  • Nevada has reported 331 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 275 were in Clark County, 43 were in Washoe County, three (3) were in Humboldt County, two (2) were in Carson City and one (1) was in Elko County.
  • Over 66,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

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