Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak held a press conference Sunday afternoon updating Nevadans on several COVID-19 mitigation efforts. He also reinstated the state’s eviction moratorium.
Three weeks ago, Sisolak initiated tighter restrictions to help prevent the spread of the virus in what he called a “statewide pause.” The restrictions included stricter public and private gathering regulations and instructed businesses like restaurants and casinos to initiate a 25 percent capacity cap.
Now, the governor is saying those restrictions will continue through Jan. 15. The decision comes as cases continue to increase, causing a surge of hospitalizations.
“Most concerningly, COVID deaths are on the rise; we have now lost 2,539 Nevadans to this virus. Two thousand, five hundred thirty-nine Nevadans,” Sisolak explained.
Sisolak said the latest statistics suggest that one Nevadan tests positive every 40 seconds. Every hour and 15 minutes, a Nevadan dies from COVID-19.
The governor also pointed out that the first allocation of the Pfizer vaccine, which was approved by the FDA on Friday, is set to arrive Monday. Plans are in place to deliver the vaccine to frontline healthcare workers for immediate vaccination.
“And staff and residents in our nursing skilled facilities as soon as possible,” Sisolak added.
To continue to help those struggling economically, Sisolak plans to reinstate the eviction moratorium, which will go into effect Tuesday and last through March 31. The governor says by doing so, it’ll help keep Nevadans at home and away from possible high-risk COVID-19 exposures.
The governor also noted that Nevada’s most successful mitigation regulation against this virus was the statewide shut down in the spring. But he says that would be unrealistic now due to a lack of federal and state funding to support those who would lose their jobs again.
“In our first months of the pandemic, Nevada lost 250,000 jobs, a quarter of a million jobs, reaching an unemployment rate of 30.1 percent, the highest rate ever reported by any state in modern history,” Sisolak explained.
According to state economists, another shutdown would put Nevada in an economic situation that would be worse than the Great Depression.