Sisolak: No plans to reimpose business restrictions, closures

Gov. Steve Sisolak points to a map where the COVID-19 surge teams are concentrating on in Clark County during a news conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, July. 22, 2021.

Gov. Steve Sisolak points to a map where the COVID-19 surge teams are concentrating on in Clark County during a news conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, July. 22, 2021. Photo: Jeff Scheid / The Nevada Independent

Amid concerns of rising cases of the Delta variant of COVID-19, Gov. Steve Sisolak told reporters Thursday, Aug. 5, he has no plans to re-impose capacity limits, order business closures, “or anything like that.”

“Everything we are doing is aimed at preventing that,” he said during a press conference in Las Vegas.

Unlike last year, he said, “we have a real solution this time — vaccines.”

“Almost every COVID-19 death we have seen since January 2021 has been a case of individuals who have not been fully vaccinated,” Sisolak said.

He said many people have raised concerns about the Delta variant being able to infect vaccinated people, but, nationwide, the rate of those cases is just 0.0004 percent.

Many people and businesses have protested his recent order to again mandate masks in indoor public settings. He said it was necessary.

RELATED: Sisolak asks state medical task force to consider COVID vaccine mandates for college students

“At this moment in time when the Delta variant is raging through our state, we need the masks as a bridge,” he said Thursday. “Vaccines are the way out of this pandemic.”

What his administration is doing this time around — beyond again mandating masks indoors — is threefold.

First, he said they are looking at vaccination requirements for all students attending colleges and universities.

The Nevada System of Higher Education Board of Regents has already decided vaccinations would be required of students, but Sisolak said since classes are  about to start, it won’t happen this fall semester to give time to get the vaccinations done. 

In addition, he has ordered masks in Nevada’s two biggest counties, Clark and Washoe, and ordered masks on all staff and volunteers as well as on buses. The 15 smaller counties, he said, can develop their own rules for masking students.

Second, he said he is asking his medical advisory team to make recommendations for those who work with vulnerable populations including the seniors and healthcare workers.

Finally, he said Nevada is home to numerous large gatherings from concerts to sporting events. He is asking both his advisers and the owners and managers of those venues to develop safety protocols to make those gatherings safer and prevent them from becoming super-spreader events.

He used K-12 schools as an example, saying hundreds of thousands of students are preparing to return to school in a week or two, and that many of them — those under age 12 — can’t get a vaccination yet.

Sisolak said one hopeful sign is that more of those people have been getting their first shot in the past few weeks, resulting in the largest increase in first doses — 3.5 percent of eligible unvaccinated Nevadans — just last week.

He said he and his administration will do everything in their power to avoid re-imposing restrictions or issuing new mandates, adding that it's up to businesses to decide if they want to mandate employees and customers be vaccinated and some are already doing so.

“We can beat this virus. This is doable,” he said. “It’s just a matter of getting vaccinated. Yah people are hesitant. They need everyone else to encourage their family members, encourage their friends to go get the vaccination.”


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