Sisolak: Nevada not ready for Phase 3 reopening, Legislature will have special session
Gov. Steve Sisolak says Nevada is doing well but is not yet ready for further reopening.
He said the state has experienced some trends that require more analysis. He said one key factor is that Nevada is now testing far more people, which is going to raise the number of positive cases. But he said the percentage of positives from those tests is remaining low despite the increased testing.
Sisolak also said the number of hospitalizations has plateaued between 340 and 372 and is well within the capacity of the state’s hospitals.
Sisolak confirmed that he will call a special session of the Nevada Legislature before the end of this month to balance the budget that has suffered a more than $800 million deficit this fiscal year and can expect a $1.3 billion shortage in the fiscal year beginning July 1.
Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson said the special session also will look at reforms to what police are allowed to do.
Sisolak said moving forward, the key will be contact tracing. He said Nevada has tripled the capacity for contract tracing and those people are working 12 hours a day, seven days a week to follow up with contacts who have tested positive.
He said the state needs to “allow expanded the contact tracing system time to assess where these new faces may have originated.”
He said that data will help determine when and how Nevada can take the next steps to reopen.
In response to local officials who say they are concerned about the virus returning, Sisolak reminded them they have the power to enact stricter rules than he has mandates statewide, “if they feel it’s in the best interest of your area.”
He said Nevada has gotten this far because the state’s residents have taken the crisis seriously with sanitation, social distancing and avoiding crowds.
“Nevadans have done what they need to,” he said. “I don’t want to go back and take a giant step backward.”