Sisolak looking to slowly ease restrictions as pandemic marks six months

and no big barbecues
Gov. Steve Sisolak giving an update on the state's COVID-19 response at the Sawyer Building in Las Vegas on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
and no big barbecues
Gov. Steve Sisolak gives an update on the state’s COVID-19 response at the Sawyer Building in Las Vegas Thursday. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

It’s been six months since the first diagnosed case of COVID-19 appeared in Nevada.  

“It seems like six years,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday during a news conference in Las Vegas.

Statewide indicators of the pandemic’s spread, such as positivity and hospitalization, are headed downward.  

“Just a month ago, Southern Nevada hospitals were reaching capacity.  We can’t do that again,” he said. 

Nevada remains one of a dozen states with a positivity rate above 10 percent, a dangerous threshold according to the World Health Organization. 

“We have a long way to go considering we started so high,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak says he’s working to persuade other governors their citizens are safe in Nevada and not to impose travel restrictions on visitors returning from the state. 

Such a move would alleviate the need for Nevada to impose restrictions on casinos, the governor said.  “It would shut down automatically if our neighboring and sister states imposed that kind of restriction.”  

“When we lift restrictions, we must do it responsibly,” he said, warning a wrong move could wreak “even greater economic damage.”

“If we go too fast, our recovery will be hindered and conventions will be cancelled not just this year, but next year and the year after that,” he warned.

The governor admits some missteps in the state’s response the last six months, but seemed to defend taking steps such as extending the moratorium on evictions. 

“None of our citizens deserve to be living homeless or in the dirt, as it were,” he said, one day after City of Las Vegas Michele Fiore said “Our homeless – it’s like kids, let them play in dirt. They don’t get sick.”

Sisolak says he’s aware of the hardship the moratorium places on private landlords, and said the state treasurer and attorney general are available to intervene on behalf of landlords in danger of losing their property. 

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.