First he asked. Now Sisolak joins chorus of govs ordering residents to stay home

Directive also extends business, school closures through April

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Downtown Las Vegas, closed. (Photo, Bridget Bennet)

Schools, casinos and nonessential businesses will remain closed through the month of April, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Wednesday. 

The “Stay at Home” directive echoes guidance from the federal government that Americans stay put for another month in an effort to flatten the curve of COVID-19 cases, thereby buying time for overwhelmed hospitals and health care workers. 

The governor’s office did not immediately respond to questions about enforcement ability and whether violators can be assessed penalties.

“Today’s ‘Stay at Home’ directive strengthens the imperative that Nevadans must not leave their homes for nonessential activities in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” Sisolak said in a news release. “This directive builds on previous directives around school closures, social distancing, closure of non-essential businesses, and bans on public gatherings of 10 or more people by requiring you stay at home unless leaving is absolutely necessary.”

“Essential employees should continue their work activities, making sure to take proper precautions, like frequent handwashing, staying home if they are sick and abiding by aggressive social distancing protocols,” according to the news release.

Sisolak closed casinos, schools and non-essential business for a month on March 17, but President Trump on Sunday extended national social distancing guidelines through April.

“Reservations for stays between now and April 30 will be automatically canceled and fully refunded,” the website for MGM Resorts says. “No action is required by the guest. The cancellation will occur automatically and guests will be notified through email about their refund.”

Nevada is among more than a dozen states that had failed to issue stay at home orders.  California, which imposed such an order in March, is reportedly seeing a slowing in new cases, the benchmark of “flattening the curve.” 

The directive allows individuals to leave their homes for essential health care, infrastructure and business work, and to obtain goods and services from grocery stores and other businesses that have been categorized as essential.

Outside activity is allowed, though people are to practice social distancing while outdoors and not congregate in groups “beyond their household members.”

“Individuals experiencing homeless are exempt” from the directive.

Sisolak is scheduled to speak from Carson City Wednesday at 5 p.m.

Dana Gentry
Reporter | Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana is the mother of four adult children, three cats, three dogs and a cockatoo.