Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 28, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 28, 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

Phase 2 Formal Directive Issued – After Governor Steve Sisolak outlined Phase 2 reopening plans Tuesday, the formal Directive and guidelines have now been released and are scheduled to expire June 30. The 12-page guidance further details what is allowed to reopen at this time. You can find the full directive here.

University of Nevada, Reno Begins to Reopen – The University of Nevada, Reno announced Thursday that the school will be moving into Phase 2 of recovery beginning June 1. In a message sent to University faculty and staff, President Marc Johnson outlined that the return will be done gradually in a way that “prioritizes the health and safety of all members of our community.” The letter also states that a plan for reopening has been formulated and will be vetted by the Chancellor and Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) COVID-19 Task Force for approval. The letter does not address whether the school will return to in-person instruction for students in the Fall.

Bringing Tourists Back to Las Vegas – In an effort to bring tourists back to the Las Vegas Strip, casino owner Derek Stevens announced on Twitter Wednesday that he was giving away 1,000 one-way flights from 24 U.S. cities to Las Vegas. The response was so overwhelming that Wednesday evening Stevens added an additional 1,000 flights, booked from more than 30 U.S. cities. Stevens owns the D Las Vegas, Golden Gate, and Circa Las Vegas currently under construction and expected to open this year. Stevens did not put any restrictions on where the winners of the flights could stay while in Las Vegas. The stunt comes at a time when Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport posted the lowest passenger numbers in recent history, as commuter volume decreased by 96-percent in April. In total, the airport saw 152,716 passengers travel in April, down from 4.3 million people recorded in April 2019. For the year, McCarran passenger travel is down 37-percent compared to the first four months of 2019.

Hospital to Test All Patients – University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas announced Thursday that all patients admitted to the hospital who receive inpatient care will be tested for COVID-19. By testing, the hospital is hoping to more quickly identify and isolate those who are infected. Additionally, all patients who come in for elective surgeries and outpatient procedures not requiring admission will also be tested. UMC has the capability to run 10,000 tests per day, with results available within hours.

City Parks to Reopen – The City of Las Vegas announced Thursday that a number of parks will begin opening Friday, with limited capacity, adhering to Governor Steve Sisolak’s recent Phase 2 guidelines. These parks include splash pads, skate parks, exercise and fitness stations, and volleyball courts. During a Reno City Council meeting Wednesday, council members were briefed by the department of Parks and Recreation that city parks will not open until June 8, due to the week needed to bring back workers and train them on COVID-19 health and safety protocols. The reopening of parks and other recreational facilities was laid out in Governor Sisolak’s Phase 2 Directive, and previously only golf courses, tennis, and pickle ball courts were only allowed to remain open during Phase 1.

Smith Center Close “Indefinitely” – After theater performances were not allowed to reopen with live audiences in Governor Steve Sisolak’s Phase 2 directive, the Smith Center in Las Vegas announced that it will “remain dark indefinitely.” This includes a run of the Broadway hit “Hamilton.” While the center plans to reschedule as many concerts and events as possible, there is no clear date of when they will be able to reopen to audiences. In his Phase 2 Directive, Governor Sisolak outlined that certain events, including sporting events, concerts, theater performances, or other entertainment type performances would not be allowed to hold events with spectators, leaving event venues such as the Smith Center dark.

Reno Hotel-Casinos to Reopen – Two Reno hotel-casinos announced Thursday that they will be opening their doors June 4 as part of Governor Sisolak’s Phase 2 plans. The Peppermill Resort Hotel and Atlantis Casino Resort Spa are scheduled to reopen, with reduced capacity and temperature checks being performed on all staff and guests. Additionally, the Atlantis is already conducting COVID-19 test on all employees, a required company procedure before allowing an employee to return to work. Both properties have been closed since the mandatory shutdown order in March.

Federal Government Developments

Legislation for PPP Loan Requirements – The U.S. House of Representatives passed legislation Thursday giving businesses more flexibility with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans received during the COVID-19 pandemic. The bipartisan legislation, sponsored by Representative Dean Phillips (D) and Chip Roy (R), passed by a 417-1 margin and now heads to the Senate. The legislation extends the time to use the loan from eight weeks to 245 weeks and gives businesses more time to pay it back beyond the initial two-years. The PPP program initially required businesses to spend 75-percent of their loans on payroll and 25-percent on other operating expenses. The new legislation now reduces the formula, with 60-percent required to be used on payroll and 40-percent on other expenses. Congress has allocated $659-billion to small businesses since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Professional Office CDC Guidelines – New guidelines released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) outline recommendations for offices as employees return to work, detailing the “new normal” of what professional office environments should look like as they begin to reopen. The recommendations include the following:

  • Replace highly touched communal items, such as coffee pots, water coolers, and bulk snacks with alternatives, such as prepackaged items
  • Limit the use and occupancy of elevators to maintain social distancing of at least six feet
  • Ensure that ventilation systems operate properly and increase circulation of outdoor air as much as possible
  • Modify or adjust seats, furniture and workstations to maintain social distancing of six feet between employees. Additionally, install transparent shields or other physical barriers when possible
  • If possible, actively encourage employees to continue working from home, especially those who have symptoms of COVID-19 or who have a sick family member, and stagger shifts for those who must physically return to work
  • For employees who commute to work using public transport or ride sharing, consider offering support so that employees can self-isolate on their commute

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Thursday, May 28.

  • There are 8,244 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 6,352 confirmed cases. Of those, 1,232 are hospitalized and 4,931 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,514 confirmed cases. Of those, 184 are hospitalized and 834 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 91 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, 45 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 30 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 407 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 339 were in Clark County, 55 were in Washoe County, four (4) were in Humboldt County, four (4) were in Carson City, one (1) was in Elko County, two (2) were in Nye County, one (1) was in Churchill County, and one (1) was in Lyon County.
  • Over 131,000 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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