Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 22, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 22, 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

Nevada Unemployment Numbers – Unemployment numbers detailed in a report released Friday from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) show that unemployment in the state is down by 244,800 jobs, rising to 28.2-percent. Initial claims are almost six-times higher than the previous high set in December 2008, when just 36,414 claims were filed. The unemployment rate is not just the worst in Nevada history, but in the history of any state in the U.S. Additional highlights from the report include:

  • Prior to April, the largest over the year decline in employment was 10.3-percent in 2009 during the Great Recession
  • Nevada’s over-the-year decline in employment for April was over five-percent higher than the nation
  • The industries to lose the most jobs were the accommodation and food services industry (down 40.9-percent), the administrative support industry (down 28.2-percent) and the “other services” industry (down 24.8-percent)
  • Over the year, the industries that managed to add jobs are the federal government (up 4.7-percent), the finance and insurance industries (each up 0.5-percent) and the construction industry (up 0.1-percent)
  • The leisure and hospitality industry are at the lowest employment level since November 1993, almost 30 years ago
  • The unemployment rate in Nevada moved much higher than the national rate in April, rising to 28.2-percent on a seasonally adjusted basis, and 29.8-percent on an unadjusted basis; the national rate was 14.7-percent adjusted and 14.5-percent unadjusted

Request to Extend the Ballot Question Signature Deadline – A federal judge heard arguments Thursday from backers of the proposed constitutional ballot question that would create an independent redistricting commission, after they filed a lawsuit against Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske’s office seeking to extend the signature gathering deadline and allow the use of electronic signatures. Fair Maps Nevada, the group backing the initiative, claim that the ability to gather the needed signatures to qualify for the ballot has been hindered due to stay-at-home orders amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Backers currently need to collect 97,598 ink signatures by June 24 to be placed on the ballot. The group’s request has drawn a number of opponents that have been allowed to intervene in the case, including the Nevada Resort Association and a Las Vegas pastor with political ties who is also in the process of suing the ballot question in state court. Opponents stated a myriad of concerns to the signature-gathering issue, arguing that the Secretary of State does not have authority to modify traditional petition signature rules, and that any such modifications could apply to other initiative petitions. Fair Maps pointed out that the all-mail primary was ordered by the Secretary to accommodate COVID-19 concerns, and also noted a growing number of states allowing electronic petition signatures and extended signature gathering deadlines. A ruling was not immediately issued, and an order is likely to be published sometime next week.

“Stay Safe, Stay Open” – The Nevada Health Response team, via Governor Steve Sisolak’s office, has published “Stay Safe, Stay Open” posters as part of the campaign to encourage the use of face coverings and maintain social distancing guidelines by employees and customers. Businesses are encouraged to procure posters for their establishments and display them in windows, doors, check-out stations, break rooms, bathrooms, etc. Posters are available to pick up at the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce, or via mail if requested. You can find more information on the work that the Chambers are doing to help businesses in the state here.

Washoe County Antibody Test – Nearly 1,200 Washoe County households may soon receive letters from the Washoe County Health District (WCHD) inviting their families to participate in an antibody study conducted by WCHD and the University of Nevada, Reno, School of Community Health Sciences. The households were picked at random, and the goal is to gather a statistically significant data set that will help public health officials determine how many residents have already had COVID-19. All contacted residents are encouraged to participate, and the results will be published in either late June or early July.

New Ad to Bring People Back to Las Vegas – In the midst of COVID-19, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA) has launched a new nationwide ad, promoting the post coronavirus reality, hoping to lure tourists back to the Sin City. Named “Reimagined,” the ad acknowledges that Vegas will be different when they reopen, but they are working on “a new Vegas for the new reality.” You can find the whole ad here.

Federal Government Developments

New Study Shows Ineffectiveness of Antimalarial Drugs – A new study published in the medical journal The Lancet Friday shows COVID-19 patients who are being treated with the antimalarial drugs hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine are at a higher risk of death and irregular heart rhythms than those not taking the drug. The study consisted of nearly 15,000 COVID-19 patients. Approximately 1 in 11 patients in the control group died, while 1 in 6 patients being treated with hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine died. Researchers also found cardiac arrhythmia to be more prevalent in patients being treated with the drugs, with nearly 8-percent of patients receiving hydroxychloroquine developing serious arrhythmia compared to 0.3-percent of patients in the control group. The two respective drugs garnered national attention during the coronavirus pandemic for being potential treatments for the illness but have been subject to scrutiny due to unproven effectiveness.

Trump and CDC Offer Guidance for Places of Worship – President Donald Trump announced a new guidance from his administration Friday that deems places of worship ‘essential’ as the United States begins to reopen businesses and other public activities. President Trump additionally said he will override state-specific orders limiting public places of worship if the federal recommendations were not followed, despite the decision being at the discretion of governors. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) followed the announcement with an official guidance for reopening places of worship that allows states to utilize the resources and recommendations. The newly released guidance can be found here.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 3:00 p.m. Friday, May 22.

  • There are 7,482 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 5,815 confirmed cases. Of those, 4,376 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,316 confirmed cases. Of those, 58 are hospitalized and 747 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 81 confirmed cases. Of those, 52 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 76 confirmed cases. Of those, one (1) is hospitalized and 13 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 59 confirmed cases. Of those, 33 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 51 confirmed cases. Of those, 38 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 26 confirmed cases. Of those, 23 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 381 fatalities from the coronavirus.
    • Of those, 322 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 100,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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