Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 15, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 15, 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

Governor Sisolak Press Conference – Governor Steve Sisolak held a press conference Friday to provide Nevadans an update on Phase 1 of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery plan and share new developments in the state’s hospitalization and testing capacity. Governor Sisolak noted that Nevada is on day 20 of consistent downward trajectory in daily new coronavirus cases and day 14 of a steady drop in coronavirus-related hospitalizations. Additionally, nearly one week after restaurants and certain retail businesses were given the green light to reopen, the Department of Industrial Relations is reporting widespread compliance with state-imposed restrictions. The state is continuing to ramp up testing capacity, opening new locations statewide that allow residents to self-administer tests and arrive without an appointment. Governor Sisolak cautioned that while the status of Phase 1 is positive, there is not a set date for Nevada to transition to Phase 2, and if continued compliance is not met there could be a possibility of rolling back certain Phase 1 openings. Initially, most southern Nevada cities were targeting Monday, May 18 for Phase 2.

Restaurants in Casinos Set to Reopen – The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) issued a notice to casino properties Thursday outlining requirements for restaurants within properties to begin reopening their doors. Casino restaurants were initially excluded in Governor Sisolak’s Phase 1 reopening plan, which allowed other restaurants and retail stores to open with certain social distancing and face covering requirements. The guidance issued by GCB requires restaurants to comply with all industry-specific guidance for other food establishments released by the Governor’s Office last week. Additionally, restaurants that do not have a separate entrance away from the gaming floor must provide GCB a path from inside the property to the restaurant entrance that ensures patrons do not traverse the gaming floor and a separate restroom that is accessible without traversing the gaming floor if one is not available in the restaurant. It also requires that licensees comply with any further directives or orders issued by its county commission or health district that implements stricter measures. During the Governor’s press conference Friday, however, he indicated that reopening restaurants was not a test to determine if casinos will be able to open with similar restrictions. The full document can be found here: GCB Restaurants.

DETR to Begin Unemployment Program for Independent Contractors – Officials from the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced Thursday they will begin accepting applications for independent contractors, self-employed workers and gig workers to enroll in unemployment benefits on Saturday. The program was introduced by the DETR Director Heather Korbulic two weeks ago after the Pandemic Unemployed Assistance program (PUA) was authorized by Congress in March. The program will allow people previously hindered from accessing unemployment benefits to file online via a separate technology portal separate from the state’s standard unemployment system. Claimants can file at

Drive-Thru Testing at Walmarts Across Nevada – As a part of the state’s effort to ramp up testing, the City of Las Vegas announced Thursday the opening of ten drive-thru COVID-19 testing sites in Walmart parking lots across the state. Seven of the sites will be located in Clark County, with two in Las Vegas, three in North Las Vegas and two in unincorporated county. Two sites will be located in Reno and the remaining two in Elko. Testing is by appointment only and will have no out-of-pocket cost to the individual. The tests will be self-administered at the direction of a trained medical volunteer. The test is for adults who meet CDC and state and local guidelines on who should be tested, including first responders, health care providers and others with symptoms of COVID-19 and those in high risk groups without symptoms.

Federal Government Developments

President Trump Update on ‘Operation Warp Speed’ – Friday morning, President Donald Trump held a press conference in the Rose Garden to provide more insight on “Operation Warp Speed,” an effort garnered toward accelerating the development of a vaccine to treat COVID-19. He noted that there are currently fourteen promising vaccine candidates, and while the timeline for FDA approval and widespread distribution is far out, the federal government plans to invest in early and efficient manufacturing. President Trump added the United States will work in coordination with other nations to develop a vaccine. Operation Warp Speed will be led by former PhRMA executive Moncef Slaoui and General Gustave Perna of the United States Army.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Friday, May 15.

  • There are 6,737 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 5,235 confirmed cases. Of those, 3,867 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,190 confirmed cases. Of those, 55 are hospitalized and 582 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 63 confirmed cases. Of those, 43 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 46 confirmed cases. Of those, 23 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.
    • Churchill County has five (5) 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.
    • Lincoln County has two (2) confirmed cases.
  • Nevada has reported 339 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 291 were in Clark County, 46 were in Washoe County, three (3) were in Humboldt County, two (2) were in Carson City and one (1) was in Elko County.
  • Over 72,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

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