Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak today said he is extending the statewide “pause” announced three weeks ago. Restrictions in place will remain through Jan. 15, 2021. Those restrictions — which Sisolak called “incredibly strict mitigation measures” — include limited numbers at family gatherings of 10 or fewer and restaurants and bars at 20 percent capacity.
Sisolak said the state’s surge of patients necessitates the extension. He said 1,700 Nevadans are hospitalized with the coronavirus disease as of Friday. There have been 2,539 deaths statewide since March.
Washoe County today reported 40 additional deaths since Sunday, bringing the county’s total up to 363 deaths.
Sisolak again said to avoid gatherings, stay home as much as you can and wear a mask. He cited a study that showed 74% of Nevadans are wearing masks, but that 95% compliance across the state by April 1 could result in 1,000 lives saved.
Sisolak also said tighter restrictions are possible if cases keep increasing.
New eviction moratorium announced
The governor announced today he was reinstating an eviction moratorium, effective 12:01 a.m. Dec. 15.
“When people are evicted, it is impossible for them to stay home,” he said, reminding renters the moratorium does not relieve them from their obligation to pay rent. The new moratorium will go through March 31.
“We are fighting the virus; we cannot fight each other,” he said.
Sisolak railed on Washington, D.C., including Republican leadership and President Donald Trump’s administration. He said they have unnecessarily politicized the virus and the lack of federal dollars is having a deadly impact on the Silver State.
Federal financial support has diminished, including lack of funding for food programs, mental health funding, health care and unemployment.
Historic unemployment — with no funds to pay for it — could be on the horizon without federal assistance, the governor added. He said unemployment could be at or worse levels seen during the Great Recession.
The CARES Act, Sisolak explained, expires at the end of the month, and no replenishment is expected.
Local elected leaders are also clamoring for more federal support.
“We need something done, and we need something done now,” Sisolak said.
Bob Conrad is publisher, editor and co-founder of This Is Reno. He has served in communications positions for various state agencies and earned a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Nevada, Reno in 2011. In addition to managing This Is Reno, he holds a part-time appointment for the Mineral County University of Nevada Extension office.