Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 27, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 27, 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 Gaming Control Board Requirements –The Nevada Gaming Control Board (GCB) released its updated policy Wednesday for Nevada casinos as they gear to reopen, following a workshop filled with recommendations from health and safety experts. Governor Steve Sisolak confirmed Tuesday that casinos can begin reopening June 4, but first must submit their reopening plans to the GCB seven days prior. All reopening plans will be confidential by Nevada law, unless a property decides to make them public. The new policy outlines the requirements , which include:

  • Resorts must check guests’ temperatures upon arrival or have a medical professional on property at all times
  • Properties must make face coverings available to all guests upon request and should encourage people to wear them in public areas
  • Casinos must limit the number of players at table games, such as three people per blackjack table, six people per craps table and four people per roulette and poker tables. If a property would like different ratios, they have the discretion to submit an alternate social distancing plan to the GCB for approval
  • Plans submitted to the GCB must detail how casinos will disinfect chips and cards and ensure cleaning of gaming equipment before employee shift changes
  • Gaming areas must be limited to 50-percent of their occupant capacity and hotel front desks, business centers, bar, restaurants, retail spaces, pools, convention areas and back-of-house operations must adhere to federal, state and local social distancing requirements
  • Properties must create a designated area within the resort where guests can be tested for COVID-19 and safely await results

Properties that have indicated they will reopen on June 4 include the Bellagio, New York-New York, MGM Grand Las Vegas, The Signature properties, Caesars Palace, Flamingo Las Vegas properties, and the Wynn and Encore hotel towers at Wynn Resorts. You can find the full policy document from the GCB here.

Additional Reopening Information – In addition to Governor Steve Sisolak’s prepared remarks released Tuesday night, the state has also put together the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery chart that outlines what is open with limitations and what is still restricted. Establishments that are still unable to reopen include nightclubs and day clubs, adult entertainment establishments, and brothels. Governor Sisolak stated that more information will be made available in the near future on additional Phase 2 steps, such as putting a more robust contract tracing system into place, coordinating with the Department of Corrections on testing for all inmates and facility staff, putting together a plan to reopen public offices, and working with local districts on reopening youth sports and recreation. While a formal directive was issued for Phase 1, a formal directive for Phase 2 has yet to be released.

Nevada Unemployment Highest in the Nation – The Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) released statistics Wednesday detailing regional unemployment numbers across the state. Overall, Nevada has the highest unemployment per capita in the United States. All rates are not seasonally adjusted:

  • Las Vegas MSA’s unemployment rate was 33.5-percent in April compared to 4-percent in April 2019
  • Reno MSA’s unemployment rate was 19.6-percent in April compared to 3.3-percent in April 2019
  • Carson City MSA’s unemployment rate was 21.4-percent in April compared to 4-percent in April 2019
  • Elko Micropolitan Area unemployment rate was 15.4-percent in April compared to 3-percent in April 2019
  • Fallon Micropolitan area unemployment rate was 12.8-percent in April compared to 3.7-percent in April 2019
  • Fernley Micropolitan Area unemployment rate was 20.1-percent in April compared to 4.8-percent in April 2019
  • Gardnerville Micropolitan Area unemployment rate was 19.3-percent in April compared to 4.2-percent in April 2019
  • Pahrump Micropolitan Area unemployment rate was 21.3-percent compared to 5.3-percent in April 2019
  • Winnemucca Micropolitan Area unemployment rate was 9.6-percent compared to 2.8-percent in April 2019

Mail-In Primary Numbers – Election officials in Washoe County updated voter turn-out for the mostly mail-in primary election due to COVID-19, announcing that an estimated 40,000 ballots have been returned, or about 14-percent of voter turnout rate. The percentage is slightly higher than Clark County, who is reporting that more than 119,000 ballots have been received, or 10.5-percent of voter turnout rate. As Primary Day approaches on June 9, officials expect to receive an increasing number of ballots. All Nevada ballots that are postmarked by June 9 will be counted, meaning that official race results may not be reported until up to seven days after the election. Primary election turnout in Nevada is notoriously low, with just 18.5-percent of active voters turning out in 2016 and 22.9-percent in 2018.

Reapportionment & Redistricting Likely Delayed – During a meeting of the Committee to Conduct an Interim Study on the Reapportionment and Redistricting in the State of Nevada Wednesday, attorneys for the Legislative Council Bureau (LCB) announced redistricting in the state will likely have to occur during a special session in 2021 due to the delay in reporting caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Representatives from LCB, Nevada Census 2020, and the U.S. Census Bureau presented respective adjusted timelines for data collection and reporting. The U.S. Census Bureau is targeting July 31, 2021 as their deadline for data reporting on redistricting for states, rather than the original April 1, 2021 deadline. The extension will inhibit Nevada lawmakers from completing redistricting within the timeline of the 2021 legislative session, lending cause for a special session to avoid having unconstitutional districts on the ballot in 2022. The Committee plans to meet again in mid-August and will likely receive an extension from the Legislative Commission to continue operations through Fall as a result of COVID-19 complications.

Federal Government Developments

Lawsuit Against Speaker Pelosi – Republican leaders in Washington, D.C. filed a suit Tuesday against Speaker Nancy Pelosi in an effort to block the House of Representatives from using a proxy voting system set up to allow remote legislating during the COVID-19 pandemic, calling the system “unconstitutional.” The lawsuit, filed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R) also names the House clerk and sergeant-at-arms as defendants given their vital roles in carrying out voting, and calls upon the House to return to work physically in D.C. Democrats pushed forward with the changes earlier this month, to strong Republican opposition. Republicans argue in the lawsuit that voting by proxy “contravenes the founders’ design” and that it “subverts the structure of the United States Constitution.” Last week, Majority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell (R) additionally suggested that his chamber may not take up any legislation passed by the House if it is passed through a proxy vote. The Senate went back to working in person earlier this month.

Despite the lawsuit, the U.S. House of Representatives conducted their first proxy vote Wednesday, with Representative Steven Horsford the lone member of Nevada’s delegation to vote via proxy.

Additional Hydroxychloroquine Concerns – France has revoked the authorization allowing hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19, one day after halting the use of the malaria drug in clinical trials. Originally promoted as a miracle cure, the country had authorized the limited use of the drug on patients in serious conditions. They now join the ranks of several others who are moving away from promoting the cure, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO) who has also temporarily removed the drug from global trials due to safety concerns. Around the globe, President Donald Trump and Salvadoran President Nayib Bukele are the only leaders who have publicly stated they are taking the drug for preventative measures.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 27.

  • There are 8,148 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 6,287 confirmed cases. Of those, 1,232 are hospitalized and 4,931 have recovered.
      Washoe County has 1,483 confirmed cases. Of those, 184 are hospitalized and 813 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 90 confirmed cases. Of those, 58 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 78 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 61 confirmed cases. Of those, 39 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 56 confirmed cases. Of those, 44 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 29 confirmed cases. Of those, 25 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 24 confirmed cases. Of those, 13 have recovered.
    • Lander County has 20 confirmed cases. Of those, one (1) has recovered.
    • Churchill County has seven (7) confirmed cases. Of those, six (6) have recovered.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases. Of those, two (2) 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 397 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 332 were in Clark County, 54 were in Washoe County, four (4) were in Humboldt County, four (4) were in Carson City, one (1) was in Elko County, one (1) was in Nye County, and one (1) was in Churchill County.
  • Over 100,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada.


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