COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada

The COVID-19 pandemic was confirmed to have reached the U.S. state of Nevada on March 5, 2020.[1] Because of concerns about coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), Nevada governor Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency on March 12, 2020. Four days later, Nevada reported its first death. As of May 21, 2020, 7,255 positive cases and 381 deaths have been reported in the state.[2] The majority of cases and deaths have occurred in Clark County, which includes the Las Vegas Valley.[3]

COVID-19 pandemic in Nevada
COVID-19 Prevalence in Nevada by county.svg
Map of the outbreak in Nevada by confirmed infections per 100,000 people (as of May 31)
  1000+ confirmed infected
  500 - 1000 confirmed infected
  100 - 500 confirmed infected
  20 - 100 confirmed infected
  0 - 20 confirmed infected
DiseaseCOVID-19
Virus strainSARS-CoV-2
LocationNevada, U.S.
Index caseLas Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Arrival dateMarch 5, 2020; 2 months ago (2020-03-05)
Confirmed cases8,495
Deaths
415
Government website
dpbh.nv.gov/coronavirus/

On March 17, 2020, Sisolak ordered the closure of non-essential businesses in the state, to help prevent the spread of the coronavirus. Grocery stores were among the businesses considered essential, and restaurants were allowed to provide drive-thru, takeout, and delivery services. At the end of March 2020, Sisolak announced a 90-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for commercial and residential tenants.

Various protests were held against Sisolak's shutdown order beginning in April 2020. Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman was also critical of the shutdown and its length, urging Sisolak to reopen the state. Goodman was widely criticized after suggesting that Las Vegas become a control group to test the effectiveness of social distancing. Nevada launched the first phase of its reopening on May 9, 2020. Restaurants, retailers, outdoor malls, and hair salons were among the businesses allowed to reopen, but with precautions in place, such as limiting occupancy to 50 percent. On May 11, 2020, Sisolak declared a fiscal state of emergency. A second phase went into effect on May 29, 2020. It allowed for the reopening of state parks and businesses such as bars, gyms, and movie theaters. Casinos will be allowed to reopen on June 4, 2020.

TimelineEdit

March 2020Edit

On March 5, 2020, Nevada reported its first case of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The patient, a man in his 50s, recently traveled to Washington state and lives in Las Vegas.[4]

On March 12, 2020, because of concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak declared a state of emergency. Nevada became the 24th state to do so because of the pandemic.[5] Sisolak also formed a five-member team of medical experts to advise him during the pandemic.[6]

On March 13, 2020, the Eighth District Court and the Nevada Supreme Court implemented changes in order to protect people from infection.[7] In Clark County, all jury trials for the next 30 days were suspended.[8] The Las Vegas Justice Court subsequently suspended eviction proceedings for 30 days.[9] In Las Vegas, courtrooms operated with reduced occupancy and employees, and social distancing was implemented as well. Non-essential court hearings that were already scheduled had the option of proceeding through videoconference or telephone.[10]

On March 15, 2020, MGM Resorts and Wynn Resorts announced that they would close their properties on the Las Vegas Strip to help prevent the spread of the virus.[11] Simultaneously, Sisolak ordered the closure of the state's schools until April 6, 2020, while schools in the Clark County School District would remain closed until April 13.[12][13] Following the school closures, children were educated through distance learning.[14] Las Vegas mayor Carolyn Goodman disagreed with Sisolak's decision, as she wanted schools in her city to remain open, with people assigned to all entrances to check the temperatures of students.[15]

On March 16, 2020, Nevada reported its first death from the coronavirus: a man in his 60s, from Las Vegas.[16] On the same day, Eureka County announced immediate closures of certain facilities to protect its citizens from COVID-19. In addition, all non-essential travel of Eureka County employees was suspended indefinitely.[17] The Second Judicial Court in Washoe County closed its facilities and proceeded through videoconferencing.[18][19] Some hospitals in Reno postponed elective surgeries for at least two weeks, to help prevent the spread of COVID-19.[20] Hospitals in southern Nevada also began delaying non-essential surgeries.[21]

 
Reno–Tahoe International Airport, largely empty during the pandemic (March 20, 2020)

On March 17, 2020, Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses closed for 30 days, starting on March 18, in order to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.[22][23] The statewide closure affected 440 casinos, as well as 1,977 businesses that operated small casinos with 15 slot machines or less, such as supermarkets, restaurants and convenience stores.[24] It marked the first time that casinos on the Las Vegas Strip had been shut down since the state funeral of John F. Kennedy in 1963.[25] More than 40 emergency food distribution sites were set up around the Las Vegas Valley to help unemployed people affected by the closures, and many casino companies donated un-used food from their resorts.[26] Schools throughout the state began providing free student meals for pick-up.[27] Casino companies also donated personal protective equipment and hand sanitizer to Las Vegas hospitals and the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department.[28]

Goodman opposed the length of Sisolak's shutdown order and instead called for a closure of 8 to 10 days, saying that Las Vegas could not survive beyond that.[29] Grocery stores, hardware stores, pharmacies, banks, and gas stations were among businesses considered essential. Police, fire, and healthcare services continued as well. Restaurants were closed for dine-in patrons but were allowed to provide drive-thru, takeout, and delivery services.[22] Construction sites were also allowed to continue operations, as Sisolak said they provided much-needed employment during the pandemic. Guidelines were issued for construction sites, stating that workers' health be checked daily and that they stay six feet apart, and that meetings be kept to no more than 10 people.[30][31] Clark County closed nearly all of its government buildings to the public for the next two and a half months.[32][33]

On March 18, 2020, Sisolak announced that he had instructed the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation (DETR) to make it easier for people to receive unemployment benefits.[34]

On March 20, 2020, Carson-Tahoe Health, based in Carson City, announced that all non-emergency surgeries at its facilities would be postponed until at least April 20.[35]

On March 22, 2020, Sisolak named Jim Murren to lead the state's COVID-19 Response, Relief & Recovery Task Force.[36][37] Sisolak also said that the state did not currently have enough ventilators to fight the virus. At the time, Nevada had 718 ventilators, 32% of which were already in use.[38]

On March 23, 2020, UNLV Medicine in Las Vegas had a soft opening for its drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. After testing hospital staff and first responders on its opening day, the site opened to the public the following day. Testing was done by appointment only, and the facility saw high demand from residents seeking a test.[39]

On March 24, 2020, Sisolak prohibited stockpiling of the anti-malarial drugs chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine (Plaquenil), both of which were being studied as possible treatments for coronavirus.[40] He also banned gatherings of 10 people or more, in an effort to further prevent the spread of coronavirus.[41]

On March 26, 2020, Clark County and two cities within it – Las Vegas and Henderson – started allowing restaurants to sell alcohol through a temporary permit. The permit only applied to restaurants with bars, and was only valid for patrons who placed food orders for curbside pick-up.[42][43][44]

On March 27, 2020, Humboldt County reported its first case.[45] Simultaneously, the Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration sent out guideline reminders to construction sites across the state, after finding that many sites were not enforcing social distancing among workers.[46] A construction worker at Allegiant Stadium had already tested positive for coronavirus,[47] and another construction worker, at Circa Resort & Casino, later tested positive as well.[48] Multiple construction workers at Resorts World Las Vegas also tested positive.[49][50][51]

On March 28, 2020, Las Vegas and Clark County opened a temporary homeless shelter in the parking lot of Cashman Field, after another shelter closed temporarily due to a COVID-19 case.[52] The parking lot was originally laid out with carpeting, which was removed the following day over concerns that it could not be disinfected. Instead, white boxes were painted on the parking lot surface, indicating where homeless people would sleep while maintaining social distancing of six feet. The parking lot sleeping arrangement caused controversy as to why the homeless could not be sheltered elsewhere, such as the closed hotel resorts in the city.[53][54][55] Clark County negotiated to put the homeless in hotels, but such a deal did not work out.[56][57] A Las Vegas city official also noted that the city does not own any hotels, and that none of them were staffed anyway due to the coronavirus-related closures.[57] The actual Cashman Field facility had already been reserved as potential space for hospital overflow patients.[53]

On March 29, 2020, Sisolak announced a 90-day moratorium on evictions and foreclosures for commercial and residential tenants, saying, "This is not the time to put people out on the streets. This is also not the time to evict small business owners who have been hit by the economic fallout of this pandemic."[58] At the time, an analysis found that Las Vegas was at risk for its acute care beds being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients.[59] On the same day, White Pine County received its first case of coronavirus,[60][61][62] while Washoe County reported its first death: a man in his 40s who had recently traveled to New York City and was hospitalized on March 23. It was the first coronavirus death to occur in northern Nevada.[63]

On March 31, Sisolak requested U.S. president Donald Trump to declare a major disaster in Nevada, giving the state greater access to federal resources.[64] Simultaneously, construction was suspended at MSG Sphere at The Venetian, due to a disruption in the project's supply chain as a result of the pandemic.[65]

April 2020Edit

National Guard soldiers setting up emergency tents in Las Vegas
National Guard medical technician tests soldiers' respirator fit in Las Vegas
National Guard medical technician checking the temperature of a soldier in Carson City

On April 1, 2020, Sisolak extended the closure of schools and non-essential businesses through the end of the month, in accordance with new federal guidelines issued by the White House Coronavirus Task Force.[66][67] Sisolak also issued a statewide directive urging residents to stay home, except for essential reasons such as healthcare visits and buying food. In addition, Sisolak activated the Nevada National Guard to help deliver medical supplies.[68]

On April 4, 2020, Sisolak announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency approved a major disaster declaration for Nevada.[69] On the same day, Las Vegas gave closed liquor stores a chance to compete against grocery stores by allowing home delivery of alcohol within city limits. Two alcohol retailers, Lee's Discount Liquor and Total Wine & More, began offering delivery service.[70][71][72]

On April 6, 2020, Sisolak called 106 National Guard members to service,[73] and Tonopah, Nevada reported its first coronavirus case.[74] Sisolak said the state had received 3,000 reagent kits and 4,000 test swabs from the federal government. Although he appreciated the testing items, he said they "are not nearly the volume necessary for us to perform the desired amount of testing that we want and our citizens want."[75] Sisolak also acknowledged residents' frustration with their inability to contact DETR.[76] Thousands of unemployed people had difficulty getting into contact with the agency, due to the high number of phone calls being made to it.[77] Sisolak said, "We do not have the structure in place, I can assure you of this, to process this kind of volume. This department has never received the funding that it should have received. You could never expect a surge in claims anything like what we're dealing with right now."[75] A newly released study found that Nevada's economy was the second most vulnerable in the United States, as 17 percent of its GDP relied on tourism.[78][79]

On April 7, 2020, Sisolak announced that California would loan 50 ventilators to Nevada through May 1.[80] At the time, southern Nevada was experiencing the highest percentage of usage for hospital beds and ventilators, compared to the rural communities of northern Nevada.[81] Simultaneously, Humboldt County in northern Nevada had 14 cases, the second-most per capita of any county in Nevada, with less than 17,000 residents. The county's health officer said that there were many residents who were not taking the coronavirus seriously.[45] Meanwhile, Clark County approved temporary alcohol deliveries, allowing the service in unincorporated parts of the county.[72][82] Henderson also approved delivery of alcohol to residents within its city limits.[83]

On April 8, 2020, Sisolak ordered the closure of real estate open houses, golf courses, and basketball and tennis courts. He also restricted religious gatherings of 10 people or more.[84]

As of April 10, 2020, seven rural counties had yet to report any cases: Churchill, Esmeralda, Eureka, Lander, Lincoln, Mineral, and Pershing.[85]

On April 13, 2020, Humboldt County reported its first death: a man in his 40s.[86] Meanwhile, the Cashman Field parking lot reopened as a tented isolation and quarantine complex to treat overflow hospital patients and homeless people infected with coronavirus.[87] The complex cost $6 million.[57]

On April 14, 2020, Sisolak announced that an additional 700 members of the National Guard would join the coronavirus efforts. Most of them would be stationed in Las Vegas, where they would set up alternate care facilities, help with food banks, and provide medical support.[73][88] Sisolak also stated that a complete revamp of the state's unemployment system would not be undertaken, saying it would temporarily prevent residents from filing and would be more harmful than beneficial.[89] Clark County also announced a backup plan to convert the Las Vegas Convention Center into a low-level hospital for 900 patients, in the event that actual hospitals become overwhelmed by patients with the coronavirus.[90][91] Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District published two maps of Clark County – organized by city and by zip code – to demonstrate how COVID-19 was affecting different areas of the county.[92]

On April 15, 2020, UNLV Medicine announced plans to work with the National Guard to expand its testing operation, increasing from 150 to 300 tests per day. More than 3,000 residents of southern Nevada had been tested up to that time.[93][94] Meanwhile, DETR opened a new call center to help deal with unemployment issues.[95] On the same day, Goodman called Sisolak's shutdown "total insanity" and urged him to reopen the state.[96] President Trump, who owns Trump International Hotel Las Vegas, said he was fine with Sisolak's shutdown order, while acknowledging Goodman's dissatisfaction with it: "I know the mayor is very upset with it. Some (hotel and casino) owners are very upset with it. Some of the developers out there are upset. Others say, 'Hey, we have to get rid of it.' I can see both sides of that."[97][98] Goodman and the Nevada Republican Party wanted Sisolak to present a plan for reopening the state.[98]

On April 18, 2020, protests took place in Las Vegas and Carson City, urging Sisolak to reopen the state. At least 500 people participated in the Las Vegas event, which consisted of a vehicle caravan led by a group called Reopen Nevada. The group protested against Sisolak for "his failure to follow President (Donald) Trump's call to enact a plan to reopen the country, specifically Nevada."[99] The Carson City protest had approximately 200 people participating on foot, while dozens of others protested from their vehicles.[100]

On April 20, 2020, the Pahrump Justice Court and the Fifth Judicial District Court were closed for at least 10 and 14 days respectively, after a court employee tested positive for coronavirus.[101]

On April 21, 2020, Sisolak said that Nevada was in a "phase zero" of plans for reopening the state and easing social distancing. He said that schools would remain closed through the spring, while businesses would not reopen until the state experienced a 14-day decline in new coronavirus cases and hospitalizations. Other conditions needed for the phase-one reopening would be additional COVID-19 testing and the use of contact tracing. Sisolak was unable to provide a date for when phase one could be implemented.[14] Meanwhile, University Medical Center (UMC) in Las Vegas announced plans to substantially increase its coronavirus testing efforts in the near future.[102]

In an interview on April 23, 2020, Goodman again said the closure should be ended. Goodman also said that she had previously suggested the idea of Las Vegas becoming a control group to test the effectiveness of social distancing. Goodman's interview sparked wide criticism over her idea, which had been rejected.[103] Sisolak said, "We are clearly not ready to open. […] I will not allow the citizens of Nevada, our Nevadans, to be used as a control group, as a placebo, whatever she wants to call it."[104] U.S. Representative Dina Titus, from Nevada's 1st congressional district, also criticized Goodman's idea and warned against opening up too soon, saying that Goodman should listen to scientists and healthcare specialists and "stop talking about my constituents as though they're guinea pigs in some grand experiment that she's trying to conduct."[104] Geoconda Arguello Kline, the secretary-treasurer of the Culinary Workers Union, criticized Goodman's comments as "outrageous" and said, "We want people back to work, but it has to be safe and secure and we don't want workers to be part of an experiment."[105]

On April 24, 2020, conservative radio host Wayne Allyn Root organized a vehicle caravan through Las Vegas to protest Sisolak's closure of businesses. Approximately 980 vehicles participated in the protest.[106] Further protests took place in Las Vegas and Reno on the following day.[107][108] The Las Vegas protest was attended by approximately 400 people, and was organized by Fight for Nevada, a group that advocates for conservative beliefs and the recall of Sisolak as governor.[107] The Reno protest garnered approximately 250 people, most of them supporters of Trump's presidency.[108]

As of April 26, 2020, approximately 350,000 Nevada residents had filed for unemployment benefits, setting a record that was twice as many as the number during the Great Recession.[109]

On April 27, 2020, Sisolak announced that Nevada had joined the Western States Pact, a group of neighboring states working together on how to proceed with reopening. Sisolak said, "Millions of visitors from our fellow Western states travel to Nevada every year as a premier tourism destination, and this partnership will be vital to our immediate recovery and long-term economic comeback."[110]

On April 28, 2020, Sisolak announced that medical and dental procedures, postponed because of the coronavirus, would be able to resume soon, with special conditions in place to help protect patients from the virus. Sisolak said that further announcements would be made later in the week regarding the reopening of the state. Sisolak said that this "next phase in the battle against COVID-19" would be "federally supported, state managed, & locally executed."[111][112]

On April 29, 2020, Sisolak extended his stay-at-home order until May 15. He said that coronavirus cases and deaths had leveled out, although he did not expect to reopen casinos until phase three or four, neither of which had a firm date set.[113] Sisolak also signed a directive that would ease some coronavirus-related restrictions beginning on May 1, 2020. Retailers and marijuana dispensaries would be allowed to offer curbside pick-up, while churches could offer drive-in services. Golf courses, as well as tennis and pickleball courts, would also be allowed to reopen. Up to that time, several rural counties had urged Sisolak to quickly reopen the state's economy, particularly in areas that had low populations with fewer cases of coronavirus. Sisolak's directive advised Nevada residents to wear facial coverings while in public. Sisolak also issued a 90-day extension on expiration dates related to driver's licenses and other DMV documents.[113][114] Meanwhile, the Eureka County Commission voted to end work-at-home measures for its county employees, sending them back to work in public offices while following safety precautions such as social distancing.[115] In southern Nevada, plans were being finalized to start widespread testing.[116]

On April 30, 2020, Sisolak expressed his hope to have the state move into phase one by May 15, 2020. Casinos would not be included in the phase-one reopening, and Sisolak said that the Nevada Gaming Control Board would be responsible for decisions about when such businesses could reopen. Bars, concert venues, malls, nightclubs, and large sporting events would remain closed as well during phase one. Stand-alone retailers would be allowed to reopen in phase one, with employees and customers having to wear facial coverings. Sisolak said that county governments would be responsible for deciding when to let their communities reopen, saying that "responsible county governments, with knowledge of their unique communities and their existing local licensing and regulatory structure, are in the best position to execute the gradual reopening of the businesses and public life of their local residents." Gatherings of 10 people or more remained prohibited.[117]

At the time of the announcement, Sisolak had a 64-percent approval rating for his handling of the pandemic, while Goodman had a 28-percent rating.[118] Meanwhile, a company called Unacast looked at data from each state and ranked them based on how well they were practicing social distancing. Nevada was ranked at number one, with a "B+" grade.[119] Data from the Nevada Hospital Association, for the month of April, showed that the state's hospitals were never in any danger of being overwhelmed by coronavirus patients, as social distancing diminished the virus' effect on the state population.[120] An analysis showed that COVID-19 was responsible for more deaths in April 2020 than those caused by flu and pneumonia in the same month during 2018 and 2019.[121]

May 2020Edit

On May 1, 2020, Sisolak returned the 50 ventilators to California, saying that Nevada was no longer in need of new ventilators.[122]

On May 2, 2020, a group of people rallied outside the Nevada Governor's Mansion, protesting against Sisolak's stay-at-home order.[123]

On May 4, 2020, elective surgeries resumed in the state.[124][125]

On May 5, 2020, the parking garage at the Orleans hotel-casino was set up as a drive-thru COVID-19 testing site. It was the first such site in the Las Vegas Valley to offer tests regardless of whether or not people had any symptoms. The testing site was a joint effort between Clark County, the Nevada National Guard, and UMC.[126][127][128]

On May 6, 2020, former professional poker player Doug Polk filed a notice of intent to start a recall effort against Goodman, following her controversial comments. Polk believed that Goodman "failed to responsibly represent her constituency" and demonstrated a "clear disregard" for public health.[129][130] On the same day, the South Point resort in the Las Vegas Valley began offering drive-thru sports betting services, followed in subsequent days by other casinos in the state.[131][132] At the time, an analysis of all 50 states found that Nevada was most likely to be hit hardest by the economic impact of the virus.[133]

On May 7, 2020, Sisolak announced that restaurants, retailers, outdoor malls, hair salons, drive-in movie theaters, and cannabis retailers would be allowed to reopen two days later, but with precautions in place. Employees, for example, would be required to wear masks, while restaurants and retailers would be limited to 50 percent of their usual capacity.[134] Also on May 7, the Nevada Gaming Commission gave unanimous and final approval to guidelines created by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, allowing casinos to eventually reopen with reduced occupancy and increased sanitation.[135] Meanwhile, a group of business owners and others filed a lawsuit against Sisolak over his stay-at-home order and his restriction on hydroxychloroquine. The lawsuit, in part, accused Sisolak of abusing his power and violating constitutional rights with his business closures. Sisolak was the latest U.S. governor to be sued for closing businesses. The lawsuit also named Clark County Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick and other state officials as defendants.[136]

Roy Horn, a former Las Vegas entertainer and a longtime resident, died of complications caused by the virus on May 8, 2020, at the age of 75.[137] Meanwhile, DETR reported a record-high state unemployment rate of 22 percent, up from 4 percent in February 2020.[138]

Phase one went into effect as scheduled on May 9, 2020.[139][140] On the same day, Reopen Nevada held a Republican rally and protest in Las Vegas against Sisolak, over his pandemic orders and the slow pace of reopening the state.[141]

On May 11, 2020, Sisolak declared a fiscal state of emergency due to COVID-19's impact on the economy. The declaration would allow the state to use money from a $400 million emergency fund.[142] On the same day, the Nevada Department of Corrections reported that there had yet to be any cases among inmates. However, these results were considered questionable, as only 56 inmates had been tested out of nearly 12,500.[143]

On May 12, 2020, a vehicle protest, organized by the Culinary union, took place down the Las Vegas Strip. The union protested for information from casino companies regarding their plans for reopening and for protecting workers and visitors. Hundreds of vehicles participated in the protest.[144] At the time, several casino resorts on the Las Vegas Strip were planning to reopen within a month, with new safety measures in place to protect patrons from COVID-19.[145][146][147] Simultaneously, two Reno women filed a lawsuit against DETR, which lacked a system that would allow self-employed residents to file for unemployment benefits under the CARES Act. Nevada was the only state in the United States that did not have such a system in place, although plans were already underway to implement one.[148][149] Meanwhile, a free drive-thru coronavirus testing site opened in the parking garage of the Aquarius resort in Laughlin, Nevada.[150][151]

On May 13, 2020, the Southern Nevada Health District announced that of the 5,000-plus cases in Clark County, Hispanics accounted for 27 percent of the cases, becoming the hardest-hit ethnic group in the county. Hispanics make up 31 percent of the population in Clark County.[152] Meanwhile, Station Casinos announced that all of its Las Vegas-area employees – approximately 14,000 – were in the process of being tested for coronavirus before they eventually return to work.[153][154]

On May 14, 2020, DETR announced that gig workers and independent contractors would be able to file for unemployment benefits beginning two days later.[155] It was also announced that 10 free drive-thru testing sites would open at Wal-Mart stores across the state, including seven in Clark County and others in Reno and Elko. The new sites were part of the effort to increase testing across Nevada.[151] In addition, the Nevada Gaming Control Board announced that restaurants inside casinos could reopen as part of phase one, on the condition that customers do not have to cross the casino floor to get to the restaurants and restrooms. Another condition, applying to large counties, would be to limit crowding among customers who are waiting to enter.[156][157] Businesses in downtown Las Vegas were also allowed to extend retail sales and restaurant dining to sidewalks, effective immediately.[158] On the same day, the city's McCarran International Airport became the first airport in the United States to install vending machines that dispense personal protective equipment.[159][160]

On May 15, 2020, Sisolak said that reports of positive coronavirus cases continued to decrease.[161] He also said that many Nevada residents were wearing facial masks, but that some businesses were not complying as required. Sisolak urged the public to wear masks, and said that businesses refusing to do the same would face punishment. Sisolak said, "Our goal is to continue reopening more of Nevada's economy in a safe and responsible manner. What we do now will determine what we can do next. That's why compliance is so extremely important."[162] Sisolak also said that the idea to reopen casino restaurants was primarily meant to benefit small communities such as Ely – where dining options are limited – rather than places like Las Vegas. Sisolak was convinced to allow the reopening of such restaurants after rural communities urged him to do so.[162][163]

On May 16, 2020, DETR launched a website for gig workers to file for unemployment benefits, although people subsequently complained of error messages.[164]

On May 18, 2020, large retailers such as Kohl's and Macy's began reopening stores in the Las Vegas Valley, with various safety measures in place.[165][166][167]

On May 19, 2020, the parking garage of the Fiesta Henderson hotel-casino was opened as a free drive-thru testing site.[168][169] Testing sites in Nevada continued to increase as more test kits became available,[170] and cases of coronavirus were expected to rise as more sites opened. Three counties – Esmeralda, Eureka, and Pershing – had yet to report any cases of coronavirus.[171] Meanwhile, the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department had responded to 1,100 businesses that remained open rather than complying with Sisolak's shutdown order. Owners of such businesses were warned of possible jail time and revocation of their business license.[172]

On May 20, 2020, McCarran International Airport launched a public awareness campaign to inform travelers about staying safe from the coronavirus.[173][174]

On May 21, 2020, UMC began coronavirus testing at the Las Vegas Convention Center for casino employees of Boyd Gaming, Caesars Entertainment, and MGM Resorts. The testing was a joint effort between the companies, the Culinary Workers Union, and UMC.[175][176][177] The convention center was capable of testing up to 4,000 people a day, and the site was expected to stay open for at least 30 days.[178]

On May 22, 2020, Sisolak announced that hotel-casinos in the state could possibly reopen on June 4,[179] and that the second phase of the state's reopening could come sooner. The reopenings would only occur as long as reports of new COVID-19 cases did not dramatically increase during the upcoming Memorial Day weekend.[180][181] Sisolak also said that he did not mandate the wearing of facial masks because he believed that no mandate would result in more residents doing so voluntarily: "I think it's a matter of people not wanting to be told what to do." He also noted that such a mandate had already been made by Ohio governor Mike DeWine, who had to rescind the mandate following outrage from residents there.[182]

On May 25, 2020, the United States Department of Justice Civil Rights Division informed Sisolak that his 10-person ban on churches could be a violation of the Free Exercise Clause, stating that churches in Nevada were not being treated equal with other businesses such as restaurants, which were allowed to operate at 50-percent capacity rather than a 10-person limit. Eric Dreiband, the head of the government agency, said, "We understand these directives were issued in the midst of an uncertain situation, which may have required quick decisions based on changing information. We are concerned, however, that the flat prohibition against 10 or more persons gathering for in-person worship services — regardless of whether they maintain social distancing guidelines — impermissibly treats religious and nonreligious organizations unequally."[183][184]

On May 26, 2020, Sisolak canceled an in-person press conference regarding phase two, after possible exposure to the coronavirus.[185] Technical difficulties then prevented the release of a pre-recorded video announcement. Later that night, Sisolak instead issued a press release announcing that casinos would be allowed to reopen on June 4, while phase two would begin sooner, on May 29. Phase two would allow the reopening of bars, bowling alleys, gyms, movie theaters, pools, spas, state parks, and tattoo shops. The reopenings would require businesses to implement changes to help prevent the spread of coronavirus. Sisolak also increased public gathering limits from 10 to 50 people, and he announced that religious facilities could resume in-person services with reduced capacity and social distancing in place.[186][187] In Las Vegas, casino companies planned to open only certain resorts, and with limited amenities.[188] Ten hotels in the Las Vegas Valley agreed to accept guests from other hotel properties who have tested positive for coronavirus.[187][189]

On May 27, 2020, the testing site at the Orleans hotel-casino was relocated to a parking garage at University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV). The Orleans site had tested 14,000 people during its operation, and the new drive-thru site at UNLV would allow walk-up visits as well as child testing.[190][191] Sisolak also announced that he had tested negative for the virus after his potential exposure.[192] Murren announced that the state's COVID-19 task force was in the process of purchasing PPE for each school district, as well as the general public. This would include 250,000 face masks.[193] Meanwhile, the Nevada Gaming Control Board updated its safety guidelines for casinos to reopen.[194]

On May 28, 2020, UMC announced that it would now test all of its future patients for COVID-19, becoming the first hospital in Nevada to do so. UMC had the ability to perform 10,000 tests per day, the highest in the state.[195] Up to that point, unemployment had reached 28 percent, the worst for any state since the Bureau of Labor Statistics began tracking such data in 1976.[196]

Phase two went into effect as scheduled on May 29, 2020, with the possibility of entering phase three by June 30.[197][198]

Impact on sportsEdit

On March 12, the National Hockey League suspended the season for an indefinite amount of time, affecting the Vegas Golden Knights.[199]

On March 16, the National Football League moved the NFL Draft online, cancelling the festivities that would have occurred in front of the Bellagio in Paradise.[200]

In college sports, the National Collegiate Athletic Association canceled all winter and spring tournaments, most notably the Division I men's and women's basketball tournaments, affecting colleges and universities statewide.[201] On March 16, the National Junior College Athletic Association also canceled the remainder of the winter seasons as well as the spring seasons.[202]

StatisticsEdit

County [a] Cases [b] Deaths Recov. [c][d] Population Cases / 100k Ref.
15 / 17 8,593 417 2,992,541 287.1
Carson City 95 4 56 55,274 171.9 [e] [203]
Churchill 7 1 6 24,877 28.1 [204]
Clark 6,657 344 2,204,079 302.0 [205]
Douglas 31 0 25 46,997 66.0 [203]
Elko 21 1 48,818 43.0 [206]
Esmeralda 0 0 783 0.0 [207][208]
Eureka 0 0 1,987 0.0 [209]
Humboldt 77 4 13 16,528 465.9 [210][211]
Lander 20 0 5,775 346.3 [212]
Lincoln 2 0 5,345 37.4
Lyon 62 1 43 51,980 119.3 [203]
Mineral 4 0 4,772 83.8 [213]
Nye 63 2 38 43,946 143.4 [214]
Pershing 2 0 6,753 29.6 [215]
Storey 1 0 0 4,010 24.9 [203]
Washoe 1548 60 801 460,587 336.1 [216]
White Pine 3 0 10,030 29.9 [217]
Updated May 30, 2020
Data is publicly reported by Nevada Department of Health and Human Services[218][219]
  1. ^ County where individuals with a positive case was diagnosed. Location of original infection may vary.
  2. ^ Reported cases includes presumptive and confirmed case. Actual case numbers are probably higher.
  3. ^ "–" denotes that no data is currently available for that county, not that the value is zero.
  4. ^ NDHHS is not providing recovered case numbers. Local health departments could be providing this information at their discretion.
  5. ^ Independent city; officially the Consolidated Municipality of Carson City


COVID-19 cases in Nevada, United States  ()
     Deaths        Active cases and recoveries
Date
# of cases
# of deaths
2020-03-04
1(n.a.) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-05
3(+200%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-06
4(+33%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-07
4(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-08
5(+25%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-09
5(=) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-10
9(+80%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-11
12(+33%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-12
22(+83%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-13
34(+55%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-14
45(+32%) 0(n.a.)
2020-03-15
63(+40%) 1(n.a.)
2020-03-16
73(+16%) 1(=)
2020-03-17
78(+6.8%) 1(=)
2020-03-18
101(+29%) 2(+100%)
2020-03-19
109(+7.9%) 3(+50%)
2020-03-20
124(+14%) 3(=)
2020-03-21
154(+24%) 5(+67%)
2020-03-22
190(+23%) 7(+40%)
2020-03-23
278(+46%) 8(+14%)
2020-03-24
321(+15%) 13(+62%)
2020-03-25
420(+31%) 13(=)
2020-03-26
535(+27%) 17(+31%)
2020-03-27
621(+16%) 21(+24%)
2020-03-28
738(+19%) 25(+19%)
2020-03-29
996(+35%) 28(+12%)
2020-03-30
1,113(+12%) 32(+14%)
2020-03-31
1,279(+15%) 37(+16%)
2020-4-1
1,458(+14%) 45(+22%)
2020-4-2
1,514(+3.8%) 51(+13%)
2020-4-3
1,742(+15%) 59(+16%)
2020-4-4
1,836(+5.4%) 70(+19%)
2020-4-5
1,953(+6.4%) 76(+8.6%)
2020-4-6
2,087(+6.9%) 79(+3.9%)
2020-4-7
2,318(+11%) 91(+15%)
2020-4-8
2,456(+6%) 101(+11%)
2020-4-9
2,584(+5.2%) 111(+9.9%)
2020-4-10
2,700(+4.5%) 121(+9%)
2020-4-11
2,836(+5%) 126(+4.1%)
2020-4-12
2,971(+4.8%) 129(+2.4%)
2020-4-13
3,088(+3.9%) 134(+3.9%)
2020-4-14
3,211(+4%) 142(+6%)
2020-4-15
3,321(+3.4%) 151(+6.3%)
2020-4-16
3,524(+6.1%) 159(+5.3%)
2020-04-17
3,626(+2.9%) 163(+2.5%)
2020-04-18
3,728(+2.8%) 169(+3.7%)
2020-04-19
3,830(+2.7%) 172(+1.8%)
2020-04-20
3,937(+2.8%) 179(+4.1%)
2020-04-21
4,081(+3.7%) 192(+7.3%)
2020-04-22
4,208(+3.1%) 201(+4.7%)
2020-04-23
4,398(+4.5%) 210(+4.5%)
2020-04-24
4,539(+3.2%) 216(+2.9%)
2020-04-25
4,602(+1.4%) 229(+6%)
2020-04-26
4,690(+1.9%) 236(+3.1%)
2020-04-27
4,805(+2.5%) 246(+4.2%)
2020-04-28
4,898(+1.9%) 252(+2.4%)
2020-04-29
4,998(+2%) 257(+2%)
2020-04-30
5,227(+4.6%) 268(+4.3%)
2020-05-1
5,311(+1.6%) 275(+2.6%)
2020-05-2
5,423(+2.1%) 280(+1.8%)
2020-05-3
5,491(+1.3%) 286(+2.1%)
2020-05-4
5,594(+1.9%) 291(+1.7%)
2020-05-5
5,663(+1.2%) 296(+1.7%)
2020-05-6
5,766(+1.8%) 309(+4.4%)
2020-05-7
5,884(+2%) 318(+2.9%)
2020-05-8
6,028(+2.4%) 325(+2.2%)
2020-05-9
6,098(+1.2%) 332(+2.2%)
2020-05-10
6,152(+0.89%) 335(+0.9%)
2020-05-11
6,311(+2.6%) 340(+1.5%)
2020-05-12
6,394(+1.3%) 347(+2.1%)
2020-05-13
6,499(+1.6%) 353(+1.7%)
2020-05-14
6,614(+1.8%) 357(+1.1%)
2020-05-15
6,709(+1.4%) 367(+2.8%)
2020-05-16
6,857(+2.2%) 368(+0.27%)
2020-05-17
6,906(+0.71%) 375(+1.9%)
2020-05-18
7,046(+2%) 382(+1.9%)
2020-05-19
7,166(+1.7%) 389(+1.8%)
2020-05-20
7,255(+1.2%) 391(+0.51%)
2020-05-21
7,401(+2%) 395(+1%)
2020-05-22
7,696(+4%) 398(+0.76%)
2020-05-23
7,770(+0.96%) 400(+0.5%)
2020-05-24
7,879(+1.4%) 404(+1%)
2020-05-25
7,997(+1.5%) 406(+0.5%)
2020-05-26
8,113(+1.5%) 408(+0.49%)
2020-05-27
8,208(+1.2%) 412(+0.98%)
2020-05-28
8,350(+1.7%) 414(+0.49%)
2020-05-29
8,495(+1.7%) 415(+0.24%)
2020-05-30
8,593(+1.2%) 415(=)
Cases: The number of cases confirmed in Nevada.
Sources: https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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