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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 19, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 19, 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://mcdonaldcarano.com/coronavirus.

State and Local News

Federal Money for Testing – Nevada is poised to receive $88,992,133 in federal assistance from the Department of Health and Human Services to be used for COVID-19 testing. The total for the state comes from a pot of $10.25-billion from the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention that has been allocated to help jurisdictions purchase and administer coronavirus tests, trace contacts and perform other functions with the goal of helping states reopen. To receive the funds, Nevada had to submit its goals and plans for testing to the department, which included the number of tests needed each month, monthly estimates of lab and testing capacity, such as equipment needed, and a description of how the funds will be used for testing.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims – The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) announced Monday that more than 38,000 initial unemployment claims were filed in the first 48 hours of the long-awaited Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program. The program allows for independent contractors, gig workers and self-employed Nevadans to seek benefits. Previously they did not qualify for unemployment assistance. During the past two months of the COVID-19 pandemic, about 441,000 initial claims have been filed in Nevada, while more than 50,000 claims remain unpaid due to pending issues.

Number Updates – The state of Nevada surpassed the 100,000 administered COVID-19 test threshold on Tuesday. After completing more than 6,600 tests on Monday, the State of Nevada Department of Health and Human Services announced that 103,703 total tests have been performed, with 7,046 confirmed cases. Additionally, the positive test rate continues to fall below 10-percent, a trend since May 11. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the rate be below 10-percent for two weeks before reopening. As of yesterday, the state was at 8-percent.

Clark County School District Addresses 2021 Budget – The Clark County School District (CCSD) Board of Trustees approved a budget Monday for the 2020-2021 academic year, anticipating a $38-million hole due to the COVID-19 pandemic. That number has the potential to change, however, as the school district waits to hear from the Nevada Department of Education on further budget cuts. The district is required to submit its final budget to the Nevada Department of Taxation by June 8, and due to unknown funding cuts, they relied on Great Recession-era figures to estimate the forthcoming revenue decreases. Also unknown is what in-person education will look like when students are expected to return to school in August. The district is hopeful the approved budget will account for different scenarios that CCSD may face as the state continues to work through the COVID-19 pandemic.

Washoe County 2021 Budget – The Washoe County Board of Commissioners approved a $714.6-million budget for fiscal year 2021 on Tuesday, accounting for the $40.5-million anticipated shortfall due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result of many factors and shortfalls brought about by COVID-19, the district has implemented various measures to shore up the deficit with the following goals in mind:

  • Maintain services to the community with a focus on protecting public health
  • Keep employees working
  • Use cash reserves wisely

Federal Government Developments

Illness Found in Children Linked to COVID-19 – The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued an emergency advisory to health officials across the country last week, advising them to be aware of certain symptoms that are causing a new illness among children. The CDC has since released a new case definition for the illness, called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C) and confirmed the illness is related to COVID-19. The syndrome has been reported in at least 17 states and D.C., as the CDC continues to gather research on the relatively unknown illness. During a webinar held Tuesday afternoon, CDC officials provided details on what is known about the syndrome, including symptoms, demographics and recovery rates. In studies, the majority of children with MIS-C tested negative for COVID-19 but positive for the antibodies, indicating past infection. Further information presented by CDC researchers on MIS-C during the webinar can be found here: CDC MIS-C Information.

U.S. Senate Hears Update on Phase 3 Relief Package – The U.S. Senate Banking Committee held its first hearing on how the $2.2-trillion CARES Act is being implemented Tuesday morning, prompting lawmakers to begin considering next steps in relief and stimulus funding. While many of the elements of the CARES Act have already been rolled out, other aspects such as the Main Street Lending Program, which is aimed at providing loans to small and medium-sized businesses as well as cities and local governments, have not yet launched. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), however, has provided over $530-billion in small business loans since its launch in March. A provision of the PPP loans that requires money to be spent within eight weeks is under review as many businesses struggle to meet the deadline amid extended business closures and stay-at-home orders. While some are pushing for additional funding, others including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell are hesitant to spend more before current funding is expended.

All States to Partially Re-open – By Wednesday of this week, every U.S. state will begin implementing measures to re-open. The last state to lift restrictions is Connecticut, which is set to begin allowing outdoor dining spaces, offices, retail stores, museums and zooms to reopen with restrictions on Wednesday. As of Tuesday, 17 states recorded an upward trend in average daily new cases over the past seven days, while 16 states’ averages dropped more than 10-percent.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Tuesday, May 19.

  • There are 7,165 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 5,463 confirmed cases. Of those, 4,013 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,295 confirmed cases. Of those, 55 are hospitalized and 689 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 71 confirmed cases. Of those, 49 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 74 confirmed cases. Of those, one (1) is hospitalized and 13 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 58 confirmed cases. Of those, 33 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 48 confirmed cases. Of those, 30 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 25 confirmed cases. Of those, 22 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 21 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Lander County has 19 confirmed cases.
    • Churchill County has six (6) confirmed cases. Of those, four (4) have recovered.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases. All four (4) have recovered.
    • Lincoln County has two (2) confirmed cases.
    • Storey County has one (1) confirmed case.
  • Nevada has reported 365 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 296 were in Clark County, 48 were in Washoe County, three (3) were in Humboldt County, three (3) were in Carson City, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Nye County.
  • Over 87,500 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

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