Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – May 6, 2020

COVID-19 Daily Update

May 6, 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

New Polling Numbers – In a statewide online poll conducted by national Democratic pollster John Anzalone, Governor Steve Sisolak posted his highest approval rating since taking office, having a 64-34 positive reaction when asked how the Governor is handling the COVID-19 outbreak. The Governor’s approval rating was highest among Democrats at 83-percent but was also robust among Independents at 57-percent and Republicans at 48-percent. Comparatively, President Donald Trump’s numbers were 46-53, while Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman’s came in at a dismal 28-61. Looking ahead to the Presidential election, former Vice President Joe Biden is ahead of President Trump by just eight points, 52-43. The poll surveyed 763 likely 2020 Nevada voters with participants apportioned demographically and geographically. The margin of error was 3.6-percent.

Las Vegas City Council Meeting – The Las Vegas City Council met Wednesday morning and discussed recent efforts to reopen the Southern Nevada economy in the wake of COVID-19. Mayor Carolyn Goodman made national headlines last month as she criticized Governor Sisolak’s decision to close non-essential business in the state. Goodman continued to push to end the statewide shutdown and return to pre-pandemic normalcy in Wednesday’s meeting, showing a compilation of videos from constituents thanking her for standing up for Nevada workers. City Council members Michelle Fiore, Victoria Seaman, and Stavros Anthony offered support for Goodman’s position, while the other three members voiced disapproval and urged people to continue to stay home for Nevada.

Following Wednesday’s City Council meeting, longtime City Attorney Brad Jerbic announced that he was stepping down to pursue a venture in the private sector. Jerbic made headlines in March after defying Governor Sisolak’s order to cite non-essential businesses that stay open, declaring that the city would not prosecute any citations received by companies. Nevada Attorney General Aaron Ford intervened, and the city reversed course.

Ventilators Returned to California – Last month, California Governor Gavin Newsom shipped 500 ventilators to the federal stockpile, which were then divided among Nevada, Delaware, Maryland, Washington D.C. and Guam. With a critical shortage in the state, Nevada welcomed the shipment of the machines that assist people who could no longer breathe on their own and are one of the most common treatments for critically ill COVID-19 patients. With patient numbers beginning to flatten, Nevada returned 50 loaned ventilators to California on May 1 after Governor Sisolak determined that the state was better equipped than before the pandemic. As of May 2, 32-percent of ventilators in Nevada were in use, with 68-percent of ICU rooms occupied. By comparison, on April 6, 44-percent of ventilators were in use with 74-percent ICU rooms occupied. Those numbers include both COVID-19 patients and patients admitted with non-coronavirus ailments.

More Meals to Seniors – The Regional Transportation Commission Southern Nevada (RTC)received a grant of more than $76,000 from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services to continue delivering meals to homebound seniors in Southern Nevada. Through its partnership with Three Square, RTC has been delivering 300 meals a week throughout Las Vegas, using RTC buses that are not in service due to reduced ridership during COVID-19. The emergency grant ensures that RTC will be able to continue providing service. To date, it has delivering over 1,700 meals to more than 1,400 individuals since March 20.

Councilwoman Calls to Reopen Nevada – A Henderson councilwoman is the newest elected official in Nevada to call upon the state to reopen the economy. In a letter dated Sunday, Ward 1 Councilwoman Michelle Romero wrote, “Mission accomplished. Now is the time to let our intelligent, hardworking people get back to work, while those who are part of the still-vulnerable population continue to take shelter until such time as they feel confident their health is not at risk.” Romero added that Henderson has submitted a reopening plan to the Governor identifying necessary safety precautions for businesses and made the case that if big-box retail stores can stay open, small businesses, such as salons, should be able to as well. Romero is the second southern Nevada official to call upon reopening the state, following Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman.

Federal Government Developments

White House Task Force Will Continue – The day after Vice President Pence announced that the White House coronavirus task force will wind down by the end of the month, President Trump reversed course, stating that the panel will continue “indefinitely.” Citing the group’s popularity, the President told reporters, “it is appreciated by the public.” In a tweet Wednesday, President Trump suggested that task force members may be added or subtracted from the panel, as appropriate, and that concentration will shift to vaccines and therapeutic treatments. The group had already begun meeting less frequently and is anticipated to hold fewer White House briefings.

News from California – California Governor Gavin Newsom signed an executive order Wednesday extending workers’ compensation to individuals who test positive for COVID-19. The order is intended to streamline the process for any worker who contracts the coronavirus to become eligible for compensation, with strict perimeters for an employer to rebut the claim. The order begins retroactively from March 19. Additionally, Governor Newsom hinted that new guidelines for the Phase 2 reopening would be made public Thursday, despite the slight reversal of a recent declining trend in fatalities.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada

These numbers are accurate as of 4:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.

  • There are 5,734 positive cases in Nevada.
    • Clark County has 4,473 confirmed cases. Of those, 3,659 have recovered.
    • Washoe County has 1,022 confirmed cases. Of those, 56 are hospitalized and 415 have recovered.
    • Carson City has 51 confirmed cases. Of those, 29 have recovered.
    • Humboldt County has 53 confirmed cases. Of those, three (3) are hospitalized and 11 have recovered.
    • Nye County has 39 confirmed cases. Of those, 18 have recovered.
    • Lyon County has 35 confirmed cases. Of those, 15 have recovered.
    • Douglas County has 22 confirmed cases.  Of those, 19 have recovered.
    • Elko County has 15 confirmed cases. Of those, 10 have recovered.
    • Lander County has 14 confirmed cases.
    • Mineral County has four (4) confirmed cases. All four (4) have recovered.
    • White Pine County has three (3) confirmed cases. All three (3) have recovered.
    • Churchill County has three (3) confirmed cases.
  • Nevada has reported 280 fatalities from the coronavirus. Of those, 238 were in Clark County, 37 were in Washoe County, three (3) were in Humboldt County, one (1) was in Elko County and one (1) was in Carson City.
  • Over 49,500 people have been tested.
  • Further statistical data can be found here: DHHS Coronavirus Statistics in Nevada

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