‘Limping through’ until vaccine comes isn’t an option, Sisolak says

Caesar mask
(Photo: Caesars Entertainment)
Caesar mask
(Photo: Caesars Entertainment)

It’s too early to know if Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Stay at Home 2.0 mitigation strategy, announced a week ago, is working, according to state health official Julia Peek.  

“Hopefully we’ll see some leveling off,” Peek said during a briefing Wednesday. “If we continue to see great growth, people aren’t listening” or more mitigation is needed. 

Sisolak said he’s gathering input on how to control “the wildfire spread of COVID-19 and protect our economy.” 

“I look forward to hearing proposals from counties tomorrow at the Task Force,” Sisolak said of a meeting on mitigation proposals scheduled for Thursday.  “To be blunt our state is surging and continues to surge.”  

Sisolak noted December is a slow month for tourism, a factor that he’s considering among many other proposals for restricting the spread of the disease, but added he doesn’t want to create additional burdens on the unemployment system by putting more people out of work.  

Sisolak said he’s not resigned to “limping through” the next months until a vaccine is available, and is instead focused on mitigation measures to stop the spread and preserve jobs.  

The governor thanked the “countless Nevadans who reached out” with good wishes for his recovery from COVID-19. Sisolak said he’s grateful he’s had a minor case so far, and said his wife and daughters tested Friday and did not test positive. 

Sisolak said he’s been in isolation at the Governor’s Mansion in Carson City where he is working from home. He intends to end his isolation Monday, in accordance with CDC guidelines recommending ten days of isolation is sufficient for anyone who has no symptoms for 24 hours.  

Nevada has registered 125,459 cases of COVID-19 and 1,947 deaths. The pandemic is growing at a rate of 1.5 percent or 712 new cases per day, according to COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage.  

The positivity rate, based on the number of positive cases divided by the number of test administered and averaged over a week, is 15.6 percent. 

“Nevada expects to see exponential growth,” Cage said of the virus. “Current strategies are not minimizing the spread of this serious disease.” 

Hospitals statewide are at 81 percent occupancy and 34 percent of the state’s ventilators are in use.

Dana Gentry
Senior 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 has four adult children, a grandson, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.