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

Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 21, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 21, 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

IFC Approves Subcommittee on Federal Aid Funding – The legislature’s Interim Finance Committee (IFC) unanimously approved the creation of the Subcommittee to Advise and Review on Coronavirus Federal Aid during a meeting Thursday afternoon. The subcommittee will be tasked with considering plans and proposals for the allocation of federal relief funds to ensure the state makes the best use of the money. The subcommittee will establish priorities for the use of federal grant money and subsequently hold each entity that receives an allocation of funds accountable for the appropriate and effective use of the funds. The subcommittee will be chaired by Speaker Jason Frierson and will consist of eight Democrats and four Republicans.

Commission to Address COVID-19 Healthcare Issues – In a letter to the Nevada Patient Protection Commission (PPC) dated Tuesday, Governor Steve Sisolak called on the task force to tackle the state’s long-term response to COVID-19, noting that many of the health care challenges the commission was created to address have been brought to attention in light of the pandemic. The PPC was created during the last legislative session through legislation after Governor Sisolak proposed the commission during his 2018 gubernatorial campaign. As created, the 11-member commission is tasked with a top-to-bottom review of Nevada’s health care system. In his letter, the Governor outlines the new priorities he intends for the task force to examine:

  • Ensuring access and affordability of health care for the vulnerable populations most impacted by COVID-19 and strengthening the state’s safety net systems
  • Sustaining available health care options that have provided access and care for patients in the COVID-19 pandemic, including but not limited to focusing on prevention by investing in primary care, telehealth, home and community based services, including allowing care in alternative sites and settings, insurance coverage, and expanding federal support for states for Medicaid and related programs
  • Strengthening the efficiency of Nevada’s statutory public health and primary care structure
  • Enhancing Nevada’s ability to assess the health needs of its population, including viewing through a lens of health disparities and health equity
  • Bolstering Nevada’s health workforce capacity and assurance of appropriate organized statewide efforts to develop and maintain essential personnel, educational, and environmental health services in urban and rural areas to provide access to necessary services

Business Preparedness Grant – The City of Las Vegas has established a new Business Preparedness Grant, created by using $4-million CARES Act funds. To be eligible, a business must have an active license, three to 25 full-time employees, and be committed to upholding all guidance’s issued from the state of Nevada and the Southern Nevada Health District. The grants are capped at $4,000 per business and must be used to fund expenses associated with personal protective equipment (PPE), retrofitting facilities for health and safety measures, or other costs that a business may face as they prepare to reopen. Funding is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Las Vegas businesses can find the application here.

WCSD Recovery Task Force – The Washoe County School District (WCSD) announced Thursday the creation of the Recovery Task Force comprised of parents, teachers, staff and public health officials, in order to guide the district with school reopening. The group of around 50 people have met virtually twice a week since the beginning of May to discuss current state directives, ideas, and concerns of staff members and families. The new task force is focused on a flexible reopening plan for schools, that will conform to guidance while taking into account the physical, mental, social, and emotional needs of students and staff members.

ReIgnite Reno Easing Business Restrictions – The City of Reno is temporarily easing certain regulations on businesses to help them operate under social distancing mandates as part of the ReIgnite Reno project. ReIgnite Reno is a coordinated COVID-19 relief and recovery initiative aimed to help businesses and employees adapt to and recover from the pandemic. The temporary changes allow for restaurants and retail businesses to conduct drive-through operations without obtaining a permit, restaurants and retail businesses can operate outdoors on sidewalks and rights-of-way, as long as they practice social distancing, and the number of hours and days can extended for indoor construction activities.

Federal Government Developments

Largest COVID-19 Vaccine Trial – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced Thursday that it would provide up to $1.2-billion to the drug company AstraZeneca to develop a potential COVID-19 vaccine. The deal is the fourth and largest vaccine research agreement that the department has disclosed. The money will pay for a clinical trial of the potential vaccine to be administered to 30,000 U.S. volunteers this summer. The agency and drug maker are also collaborating to produce at least 300 million doses, with the first doses projected to be available as early as October. Most public health officials and scientists, however, caution the accelerated, ambitious timeline, warning that a viable vaccine with the ability to be mass produced would probably not be available until sometime next year at the earliest.

National Unemployment Trends – The U.S. government reported Thursday that an additional 2.4 million U.S. workers filed first-time unemployment claims last week, a leveling of the weekly toll since COVID-19 lockdowns began. Still, the number of people losing their jobs remains high, with more than 38.6 million jobless claims filed over the last nine weeks. A recent Census Bureau survey also found that nearly half of adults report that they or a member of their household had lost their job, and in households that earn less than $40,000, 40-percent of workers have lost jobs. On the upside, the Treasury Department reported that roughly three-quarters of those eligible for the $1,200 stimulus checks provided through the CARES Act have received their payment.

Major League Baseball’s 2020 Operations Manual — A document outlining Major League Baseball’s (MLB) proposed plan to continue operations in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic was made public Wednesday. The proposal highlighted many potential changes to the organization’s normal operations, namely those that will apply most directly to players. Changes being discussed include building individual locker stalls six feet apart, requiring masks be worn except on the field, and eliminating spitting or chewing sunflower seeds, touching the face to give signs, base coach chats with runners, and even bat boys. In addition, group meals, showering at stadiums, indoor batting practice, and in-person meetings will be discouraged among players and staff. Operational staff will be categorized into tiers, which will dictate which individuals can access certain areas of the stadium. Physical interactions such as high-fives and hugs will be prohibited, and social distancing will be encouraged at all times.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 21.

  • There are 7,394 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 5,734 confirmed cases. Of those, 4,013 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,316 confirmed cases. Of those, 58 are hospitalized and 747 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 77 confirmed cases. Of those, 49 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 76 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 49 confirmed cases. Of those, 33 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 26 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.
    • White Pine County has four (4) confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) have recovered.
    • Lincoln County has two (2) confirmed cases.
    • Storey County has one (1) confirmed case. That person has recovered.
  • Nevada has reported 378 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 320 were in Clark County, 48 were in Washoe County, four (4) were in Humboldt County, three (3) were in Carson City, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Nye County.
  • Over 88,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.

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