Sisolak unveils plan to transfer virus mitigation, enforcement to local authorities

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at a press conference inside the Capitol Building in Carson City, Nev. on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks at a press conference inside the Capitol Building in Carson City, Nev. on Thursday, July 9, 2020.

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday rolled out guidance for the phased transition of virus mitigation measures to local authorities.

The transition will begin May 1 at the earliest. The governor said he released the 
8-page Nevada Roadmap to Recovery Transition Plan to give local government officials time to plan for that transition.

“As a former long-time local elected official, I know how unique local communities are and how much faith is placed in local leadership,” he said. “For the transition to local control to succeed, we must work together now to continue to reduce our community transition and have a plan to keep Nevadans safe throughout the rest of this emergency period.”

Sisolak said the state COVID-19 task force will manage the process. The task force will release planning templates and other resource guides for counties to use.

Between now and May 1, each county will be required to develop a plan in order to assume the authority to manage the powers delegated to them. Those plans will spell out local plans for mitigation, management and enforcement.

Task Force Director Caleb Cage said that group will work directly with local communities to plan the transition.
The roadmap laid out Thursday says the state will continue to manage statewide vaccine distributions, receipt and distribution of federal funding, testing and contact tracing resources.

Local governments will be delegated the power to implement local mitigation and enforcement measures.

Mitigation measures including mask requirements, social distancing and sanitation will remain in place. In addition, industries regulated by the state, such as the gaming industry, will continue to follow statewide baseline standards for virus mitigation put in place by those boards and commissions.

Starting March 15 — which is also when most Nevada businesses
will be allowed to operate at 50 percent capacity, and gatherings will be limited to no more than 250 people — the task force will begin conducting an in-progress review of preliminary county plans to provide feedback and recommendations.

Through mid-April, local plans should be finalized, and the roadmap says they must be endorsed by local health authorities, the school superintendent, the managers of cities larger than 100,000 and the statewide and rural hospital associations in the state. Then, the local plan must be approved by the county commission in each county.

Among the items that must be addressed are COVID-19 indicators to be monitored, protection of vulnerable populations, testing and contact tracing efforts, hospital capacity management and the status of PPEs.

The plan also mandates mitigation measures including occupancy restrictions for gatherings and events, youth and adult sports and large event plan approvals.

In addition, enforcement measures must be spelled out including actions for offenders.


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