Nevada Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – July 22, 2020
Government Affairs Daily Update
CCSD Approves Distance Learning – Clark County School Board of Trustees unanimously approved district plans to begin the 2020-2021 school year full-time online due to the continued rise of local COVID-19 cases. The plan does, however, include a carveout for rural schools. Trustees considered additional options throughout the summer, including a hybrid model that had students in the classroom two days a week and online the other three days. The board did not put a definitive timeline on the full-time distance learning model but plans to reassess the plan every 30 days upon the start of the school year. Technology and internet access remain the district’s largest hurdle in ensuring equitable education to all students. It’s estimated that 40-percent of households will need assistance in securing internet through low-cost programs or Wi-Fi hotspots provided by the district. Teachers will receive special training for teaching online ahead of the official school start date August 24.
Cegavske Plans for In-Person Voting – Republican Nevada Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske revealed her plan to resume in-person voting for the upcoming general election in November despite concerns over COVID-19 cases in the state. Cegavske said her tentative decision is in largely due to lack of funding to conduct another all-mail election. The state received roughly $5-million in federal relief to help offset associated costs of the June primary. However, the funds were allocated under the impression assistance would not be needed for the general election. Clark County proposed its own election plan that utilizes unused federal CARES Act dollars allocated to the county during a commission meeting June 19. The plan calls for absentee mailing ballots for all active voters as well as early and same-day in-person voting locations, however it’s unclear whether Secretary Cegavske will approve the county’s proposal or pursue a statewide model. Governor Sisolak listed voter access and safety as potential topics that may heard at a second special session of the legislature.
Las Vegas Conventions Canceled or Postponed –
- Global Gaming Expo: Canceled
- Nightclub and Bar Show: Postponed to October 19-21, 2020
- The International Pizza Expo: Canceled
- NADP Experience 2020: Canceled
- LightFair 2020: Canceled
- ISC West: Rescheduled to be all-virtual for October 5-7, 2020
- SuiteWorld20: Postponed to 2021
- The Licensing Expo: Postponed to 2021
- National Hardware Show: Canceled
- Digital Signage Expo: Postponed to November 11-13, 2020
- ShopTalk: Postponed to 2021
- World Game Protection Conference: Postponed to 2021
- Yale Robbins Real Estate Expo: Postponed to November 17, 2020
- National Association of Broadcasters: Canceled
- CES: Postponed to January 6-9, 2021
- CinemaCon: Postponed to April 26-29, 2021.
- Luxury and JCK Las Vegas: Postponed to June 2021
Las Vegas Properties Face Financial Hardships – After celebrating the ability to reopen their doors in June, some Las Vegas casinos are facing financial hardships, leading to layoffs and furloughs. Wynn Resorts Ltd. announced plans Wednesday to place an unspecified number of workers on furlough effective this week, after paying all employees throughout the 78-day shutdown from March to June. According to a company spokesman, “we now know how challenged business volumes in Las Vegas are and are staffing to the significantly reduced demand.” The furloughs come despite top executives forgoing 33-percent to 100-percent of their salaries to offset employee payroll and other expenses. Additionally, Circus Circus Las Vegas announced plans Wednesday to lay off 252 employees on September 1, after resorting previously to implementing furloughs and reduced hours. Daily visitation rates at Clark County casinos is estimated to be down 44-percent compared to the average rate a year ago.
COVID-19 Vaccine on the Horizon – The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Department of Defense announced an agreement Wednesday with Pfizer to produce 100 million doses of a COVID-19 vaccine for $1.95-billion. The vaccine is still in the early development stage and needs to complete a larger Phase 3 clinical trial to show that it effectively protects people from COVID-19. If successful, delivery throughout the United States will begin in the fourth quarter of 2020 at locations through direction from the U.S. government, with no cost to the American public. Pfizer is not the only company to be working around the clock on a potential vaccine. Through a program sponsored by HHS, Operation Warp Speed aims “to deliver 300 million doses of a safe, effective vaccine for COVID-19 by January 2021, as part of a broader strategy to accelerate the development, manufacturing, and distribution of COVID-19 vaccines, therapeutics, and diagnostics.” So far, the program has funded at least nine independent vaccine efforts.
COVID-19 in Nevada
Nevada reported 28 COVID-19 related deaths on Tuesday, a number that is believed to be 31 deaths after Washoe County reported a discrepancy in three fatalities not originally recorded in the daily total. That number remains the highest daily death total in Nevada throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. As of Wednesday, an additional 28 fatalities were reported, with Clark County and Washoe County having the most deaths. In Clark County, the death rate per 100,000 people is 24.9, while Washoe County has a death rate per 100,000 people of 22. One of Nevada’s smaller counties, Humboldt, the home of Winnemucca, has the third highest death rate per 100,000 people of 23.4. Total cases across the state rose to 38,657 as of Wednesday, as the state-wide infection rate continues to climb, reaching 9.63-percent
New Cases: 1,129
Total Cases: 38,657
Current Hospitalizations: 1,102
Total Fatalities: 704
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