Northern Nevada tribes order mandatory COVID-19 curfews, fines
RENO — Two Northern Nevada tribes have become the first governmental entities in the state to order mandatory curfews punishable by fines and potential jail time for repeat offenders in response to the spread of the coronavirus.
The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony curfew requires members stay in their homes from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. through April 30 unless they are working in essential businesses, obtaining emergency medical treatment or making essential trips.
Essential trips include travel to and from grocery stores, obtaining medical care, caring for another individual and obtaining essential supplies to maintain a residence.
“It is now against the law to have unnecessary gatherings,” Tribal Chairman Arlan Melendez wrote in an April 3 directive to its more than 1,500 members living on about 23 square miles within the Reno-Sparks metro area.
First-time offenders face up to a $500 civil fine, followed by a mandatory $500 fine. Third-time offenders will be charged with a misdemeanor, punishable by up to a $500 fine, up to 180 days in jail and/or up to 300 hours of community service.
The Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe’s curfew runs indefinitely from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. on its reservation covering more than 700 square miles about 40 miles northeast of Reno with similar exceptions for emergencies and use of essential services. Violators are subject to a $100 fine.
Nevada has reported 46 deaths and more than 1,900 positive tests for COVID-19.
Washoe County, including Reno-Sparks, has had four deaths and 281 positive tests. All but one of the other Nevada deaths has been in the Las Vegas area.
Most people with the virus experience mild or moderate fever and coughing for two to three weeks. Some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, can face severe illness including pneumonia and death.