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COVID-19 Update: Bars to remain closed for at least two more weeks

By Bob Conrad

Governor Steve Sisolak today said Washoe County bars will remain closed for at least another two weeks. The reason: Washoe County’s positive test rate for COVID-19 is 9.1%. Last week it was 8.3%.

“Washoe has asked for no changes to its previously approved action plan,” Sisolak said. “Washoe reported that the majority of its cases are associated with workplaces, retail, recreation and dining, and private social gatherings.”

His press conference today focused on the six-month anniversary of COVID-19 hitting Nevada. He explained many early actions, such as Renown’s parking garage conversion, and why they were taken. 

We’ve learned a lot since then, he said, acknowledging imperfections. “We’ve come a long way.”

Statewide numbers are heading in the right direction, Sisolak said. “Our numbers are getting better, but we have a long way to go. We have to get better. Please don’t have large gatherings.”

Local mitigation efforts continue

County officials have been targeting private parties in order to help prevent coronavirus from spreading in the community. Teachers and other educational professionals, though, are still saying school reopenings go against health expert recommendations and raise concerns about coronavirus spreading in local schools. There have been 21 confirmed cases at local schools. 

Local bar owners are weary of closures, saying that restrictions unfairly impact their businesses.

Sisolak’s attendance last weekend in Las Vegas at a restaurant with a live band drew ire online. It prompted many to question why live music was allowed in some settings, and not others.

The City of Reno posted today on Facebook “updated information from the State of Nevada that live music and similar performances inside businesses that are legally open is acceptable” if the music is not the main draw, there is no cover charge and crowds are not allowed to gather. 

The City also announced today a program downtown that will allow two businesses to expand outdoor dining. First Street will be blocked between Sierra Street and the Palladio parking garage from 10 a.m. to midnight on Saturday.

The businesses, Liberty Food and Wine and Blind Dog Tavern, are allowed to expand their outdoor dining spaces.

“This project will help the City collect information and determine if a long-term plan to assist restaurants in this manner is possible,” said Matt Brown with the City of Reno. “The City is following other communities that have closed streets in several downtown corridors to allow for restaurants to operate outdoors.”

The restaurants have to keep customers from gathering when not at tables.

Read more news about COVID-19 in Reno

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