Gov. Steve Sisolak cancelled Tuesday evening’s press conference over concerns he may have been exposed to the virus.
But he issued a statement saying Phase 2 reopening can begin Friday, May 29, allowing many more businesses to get back open for customers.
He cancelled Tuesday’s press conference saying he visited a work place last week where an employee has since tested positive for the COVID-19 virus. That employee was not in the building at the time but Sisolak said he cancelled the press conference “out of an abundance of caution.” He said he will quarantine at the Governor’s Mansion.
The only people at those press conferences are Sisolak’s top staff members and the press.
He said he will be tested for the virus and will announce the results of the test when he gets them. His statement added that, at no time in the past five days has he exhibited any symptoms of the disease.
Sisolak said Phase 2 re-openings will expand the ability to get back to work to a number of businesses that have been shuttered for two months.
He said in Phase 2, public gatherings can increase from 10 people to 50, while maintaining social distancing.
Adult entertainment, brothels, nightclubs and day clubs are still closed. But he said state offices, gyms, and bars that don’t serve food can begin reopening under restrictions including no more than 50 percent capacity and strict social distancing — the same restrictions as are currently applied to restaurants.
Theaters, bowling alleys and indoor are allowed to reopen with the same restrictions as restaurants and retail stores.
He said employees at opened businesses must wear masks.
The governor also said faith-based gatherings can return.
He urged leaders to keep gatherings to 50 people or less, and maintain social distancing.
“I strongly urge places of worship continue to provide onlineor virtual services as much as possible to protect those they serve, especially
those who are among our vulnerable populations,” he said in a statement. “I am confident faith leaders will follow the guidance and restrictions necessary to protect the health and welfare of their communities.”
Sisolak has already said he plans to allow casinos to reopen June 4 under strict limitations developed by resort operators and the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
He said in his last press conference the reopening process is moving faster than he and experts originally expected because Nevadans are taking the Coronavirus restrictions seriously. The result, he said, is infections are “in a downward trajectory” for nearly a month with hospitalizations continuing to drop.
He said the rate of infections in those tested has continued to decrease.
The positivity rate of those tested as declined to 6.5 percent. That’s a decrease for 31 days in a row.
Testing has increased to more than 4,000 a day. Just yesterday it was more than 9,325 tests.
Sisolak, his top staffers and his security team are likely more at risk than most because of the number of people they come in contact with. Chief of Staff Michelle White said she and the others in close contact with the governor are also getting tested.
Sisolak urged Nevadans at that time to continue to self isolate and practice social distancing, sanitization and other efforts to limit the spread of the virus so the state and its economy can begin to return to some semblance of normal.
Sisolak said the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services is working with the Nevada Department of Corrections on an effort to test all inmates and facility staff.
“We are finalizing action plans for a more robust statewide contact tracing system that will expand our ability to trace this virus in a more coordinated and cohesive way,” Sisolak said. He said more contact tracing plans will be provided later this week.
“During Phase 2, I cannot emphasize enough the importance of continuing to wear face coverings in public and maintaining at least six feet of social distancing when you are out in public and around people from other households,” Sisolak said adding that all employees will continue to be required to wear a face covering and also abide by measures set forth by OSHA and other regulatory authorities.
Businesses that remain closed in Phase 2 include:
- Adult entertainment establishments
- Nightclubs and day clubs
- Live sporting event venues and live performance venues WITH spectators.
Businesses that will start to open:
- State offices may begin to resume some services
- Gyms, fitness facilities may reopen: Locker rooms should be closed except for restrooms
- Facilities must close and prohibit use of showers, steam rooms, saunas, portable saunas, vapor baths, salt therapy rooms, hot tubs, and any other communal facilities
- Massage services, salons and/or other businesses that provide aesthetic or other skin services may open under strict protocols. Face coverings must be worn at all times by employees, including the masseuse
- Body art and piercing establishments. No body art or piercings may be done around the nose or mouth so that face coverings can be worn at all times.
- Aquatic facilities and swimming pools may reopen. During Phase 2, locker rooms will not be allow to reopen and these facilities will be limited to 50 percent of capacity. Face coverings should NOT be worn in the water.
- Water parks will also be able to reopen, at 50 percent capacity with strict social distancing requirements.
- Museums, art galleries, zoos and aquariums may reopen, at no more than 50 percent of capacity and must maintain at least six feet of social distancing. Interactive and hands-on exhibits must remain closed during this phase.
- Indoor venues, like movie theaters, bowling alleys and indoor malls, again with occupancy restrictions and they must allow for six feet of social distancing.
- Indoor malls must prohibit areas where people congregate, including restricting seating or benches in hallways or open areas. Each individual retail store within an indoor mall will be subject to the same 50% capacity mandate and social distancing requirements. Food courts must adhere to the same restrictions as restaurants.
- There will be similar restrictions for outdoor venues like mini golf and amusement parks.
- In Phase 2, events with live performances and live performers will not be allowed WITH spectators. However, certain events will be allowed under specific restrictions for the purpose of broadcasting or live streaming – but they will NOT include a live audience or any spectators.
- This may include sporting events, concerts, theater performances, or other entertainment type events. There will be also be protocols for other spectator less events that won’t be filmed or broadcasted.
- To hold a closed or spectator-less event, an Event Operator shall submit an Operation Plan to the appropriate state authority.