Gov. Steve Sisolak has ordered a rollback of the state’s reopening plan amid the COVID-19 pandemic by ordering bars to close in counties with spiking virus outbreaks and limiting restaurant dining to no more than six people per table.
Sisolak says the new requirements will take effect at midnight Friday, and that his office would release new rules requiring specific counties roll back bar operations to the state’s Phase 1 minimums. Phase 1 requires any bar that did not serve food to close down. No food, no booze.
Sisolak noted that he is “strongly encouraging” food establishments to promote outdoor dining. The six-person party limit for restaurants will be applied statewide for both indoor and outdoor dining.
“Across the country, we have seen far too many times where hospital capacity appeared fine one day and then be overwhelmed the next with increased COVID-19 patients,” Sisolak said. “We do not want this to happen here – so we will do what we must to make sure that our hospitals are able to provide the best care to all Covid-19 victims.”
Oregon Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) found fewer than half of bars in compliance with his mask directive. Sisolak said the state needs to move to a near 95 percent compliance rate on mask wearing in order to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases. He said business visits by OSHA indicated about 80 percent of businesses were following the mask directive but it was “simply unacceptable” that the remaining 20 percent were not.
Sisolak said his office was also looking at actions taken in other states to close down pools, water parks and gyms, given issues with mask wearing in those establishments. He clarified that people need to be wearing masks unless they are “actively” walking into a pool, swimming in a pool, or are climbing out of a pool and at all times inside gyms unless “actively engaged in a high-intensity workout” and that they need to remain six feet apart from other people.
Sisolak also reminded Nevadans that “they are safer at home.” But if they must go out, they are safer when they wear masks, practice social distancing, and wash their hands thoroughly and often.
“Masks are not partisan, they’re not political, they’re not a joke, they’re not funny, they’re not things that people go to social media and make all kinds of comments and funny jokes about and think that they’re being cute,” Sisolak said. “It is costing lives when people don’t wear masks.”