Understanding and responding to the business and legal impacts of COVID-19

Nevada Government Affairs & Advocacy Nevada Update – July 30, 2020

Government Affairs Daily Update

July 30, 2020

Our Government Affairs & Advocacy Team is dedicated to keeping you informed and up to date with political and COVID-19 information in Nevada. 

State and Federal News

Second Special Session to Start Friday –Nevada’s second legislative special session is expected to begin Friday, however as of this writing no official proclamation from Governor Steve Sisolak’s office has been released.

Proof of Negative Test Not Required – The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) released a new set of guidelines Wednesday to address testing and return to work suggestions, following guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The guidelines recommend that a person no long be tested for COVID-19 after self-isolating for 10 days. According to the guidance, research shows that an infected person is often no longer infectious after 10 to 20 days, depending on the severity of their illness. After 10 days, people are considered noninfectious and can receive clearance to work. By not requiring further testing, they hope to ease the strain on the state’s testing services, and is an “easier, quicker and just as safe” method, according to the new guidance. The decision by the health district comes as a shift from normal protocol being taken by many casinos in southern Nevada, which require an employee to show proof of a negative test before returning to work.

MGM Resorts Revenue Falls Drastically – MGM Resorts reported a $1-billion loss of revenue during the second quarter of 2020, a harsh comparison from the $371-million the company brought in during the second quarter of 2019. While loss in revenue at MGM’s 10 properties in southern Nevada is partly to blame, continued travel restrictions in Macau, where the company operates two properties, added to the massive decline. On the Las Vegas Strip, eight of MGM’s properties are currently operating, with the exception of Mirage and Park MGM. Second quarter revenue for the re-opened Strip properties was just $290-million, a 91-percent decrease due to the closure of Nevada casinos from mid-March to June 4. MGM Resorts will hold an earnings call Thursday afternoon to address the revenue loss.

President Trump Suggests Delaying Election – President Donald Trump suggested in a tweet Thursday that November’s general election be delayed, prompting a quick response from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. With just 96 days until the election, presidential observers have questioned whether President Trump will call to question the legitimacy of the outcome due to COVID-19 precautions being taken, as he currently trails former Vice President Joe Biden by double digits in most polls. The Constitution grants Congress, rather than the President, the power to set the date for voting. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak quickly took to Twitter, responding to the President’s tweet, “Nevada is widely recognized as being a leader in election administration, and we will continue to support the safest, most accessible election possible under these unprecedented circumstances. Nevada will hold its election as required by law on November 3.”

Federal Unemployment Due to Expire Friday – A last minute effort to extend federal unemployment benefits failed in the U.S. Senate Thursday, after Democrats blocked a stand-alone bill proposed by Republicans that would have continued federal unemployment pay through the end of the year, while slashing the weekly amount from $600 to $200. Democrats instead attempted to pass a $3-trillion stimulus measure passed by the House in May, which includes an extension of the $600 weekly benefit, only to have that piece of legislation in turn blocked by Republicans. With no action taken, it is anticipated that many Senators will return now to their districts for August recess, leaving tens of millions of Americans without any weekly federal stipend. Last week, an additional one million new unemployment claims were filed for the 19th week in a row, bringing the national number to 30.2 million Americans.

COVID-19 Numbers in Nevada –

Nevada saw an additional 21 fatalities Thursday, pushing Nevada’s death toll over 800. An additional 1,021 new COVID-19 cases reported, as the positivity rate reached 10.12-percent, the 22nd consecutive daily increase. 35 additional hospitalizations were also reported, bringing the total to 1,145. According to the Nevada Hospital Association, the hospitalized COVID-19 patient count has risen by 100 since July 18, although the rate is slower and more manageable it was in late June and hospitals throughout the state continue to operate below capacity.

Numbers
New Cases: 1,018
Total Cases: 46,824
Current Hospitalizations: 1,145
Total Fatalities: 801


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