Response in NV
Nevada’s Response to COVID-19:
Updated May 12, 2020
The State of Nevada has been coordinating with local public health authorities to prepare and respond to COVID-19:
- On 5/11, Governor Sisolak signed an emergency directive authorizing the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation to begin hiring non-merit based employees to assist with processing unemployment claims.
- On 5/7, Governor Sisolak announced that Nevada was ready to begin Phase 01 of the reopening process on Saturday, May 9, 2020. Phase 01 of reopening includes restaurants, hair and nail care salons, barbershops, barber schools, real estate and leasing, general office environments, transportation, courier services, warehouses, auto dealerships, and appliance and furniture showrooms. Reopening may only occur under required restrictions, outlined by phase 01 reopening guidance
- On 5/1, Governor Sisolak issued an emergency directive to prevent the garnishment of COVID-19 related funds.
- On 4/30, Governor Sisolak unveiled Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery. This plan details Nevada’s phased reopening plan, as well as the criteria required to begin the reopening process.
- On 4/29, Governor Sisolak loosened restrictions on drive-up retailers, outdoor recreation (such as golf courses, tennis courts, and pickle ball courts) and drive-up worship services, so long as proper social distancing protocols are in place.
- On 4/29, Governor Sisolak announced that the stay-at-home order will be extended to May 15, 2020.
- On 4/28, Governor Sisolak announced that hospitals and dentists would begin to phase back in elective procedures. The Nevada Hospital Association will provide guidance to phase-in medically necessary procedures. The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services will issue a memorandum to assist dental providers in phasing in dental procedures. Note that appointments may appear different than they were previously as these services are phased back in.
- On 4/27, Nevada and Colorado joined California, Oregon and Washington’s Western State’s Pact, an interstate body dedicated to the coordination of a regional economic reopening.
- On 4/21, Governor Sisolak provided Nevadans with an update on the state’s plan for reopening, including the criteria to be used to evaluate whether the state is prepared to reopen. The reopening seeks to align with the White House’s plan for reopening and will occur in phases after meeting the criteria required to reopen.
- On 4/14, Governor Sisolak announced that individuals applying for unemployment insurance will be receiving payments backdated to their date of application. This policy will also apply to the additional federal assistance payments totaling $600.
- On 4/13, The Department of Health and Human Services released an expanded data dashboard addressing COVID-19 in special populations residing in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities.
- On 4/10, the Nevada National Guard was approved to receive federal funding
- On 4/9/2020, Governor Sisolak announced the approval of a call-center vendor to assist the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation with increased volume of unemployment insurance phone calls
- On 4/8/2020, Governor Sisolak expanded the scope of non-essential business closures to include in-person church services serving more than ten people; recreational facilities offering activities such as golf courses and driving ranges, tennis courts, basketball courts, volleyball courts, skate parks, bocce ball courts, handball courts, horseshoe pits, and pickleball courts. Showrooms for things like vehicles or appliances are now closed. Rental properties and homes for sale can no longer be viewed in person.
- On 4/7, Attorney General Ford announced the approval of $2 million in rent relief fundin
- On 4/4, Nevada was notified that it’s Major Disaster Declaration had been approved. This declaration will assist Nevada in its response to and recovery from COVID-19.
- On 4/3 the Nevada COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team recommended that all Nevadans wear a cloth face mask in public spaces to prevent the spread of infection.
- The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation issued a reminder to constituents filing for unemployment insurance to file weekly to continue receiving benefits;
- The state Board of Examiners approved $6.25 million in funding to support PPE purchases and access to additional FEMA funding.
- Governor Sisolak authorized the creation of the Battle Born Medical Corps to expand Nevada’s healthcare workforce. This expansion relaxes licensing regulations, allowing student medical providers, retired medical providers, and out-of-state medical providers to begin practicing within the state of Nevada.
- Governor Sisolak activated the Nevada National Guard to provide the state with logistical planning support and medical relief.
- On 4/1/2020, all Nevadans were ordered to Stay at Home. Nevadans are authorized to continue patronizing essential businesses, reporting to work as an essential worker, and participate in outdoor activities so long as they practice aggressive social distancing.
- The statewide shutdown originally set to expire on April 16th was extended and will now expire on April 30th.
- Governor Sisolak issued a travel advisory for the state of Nevada on March 31, asking all returning Nevadans and visitors to our state to self-quarantine for fourteen (14) days.
- On March 29, Governor Sisolak issued a moratorium on evictions for the duration of the COVID-19 emergency. Tenants are not free of the rental obligations, but landlords must not evict tenants and are obligated to uphold the basic provisions of their rental agreements.
- Nevada Health Response is now distributing a Daily Situation Report to the media and members of the public to keep Nevadans informed. To subscribe, please navigate to ‘Subscribe to Updates,’ in the top right-hand corner of this webpage.
- DETR, in collaboration with the Governor’s Office, have developed a tool for constituents needing assistance with resetting their username, password or both. The state has launched a username/password reset request form available at: http://gov.nv.gov/Forms/Unemployment/ The completed form will result in state staff providing instructions on the next steps through the preferred contact methods selected on the form.
- On March 24, 2020, Governor Sisolak signed a directive asking all Nevadans practice aggressive social distancing and avoid congregating in groups larger than 10 in public spaces
- Governor Sisolak and the Department of Health and Human Services issued childcare specific guidance and resource lists for providers and families
- Governor Sisolak signed an emergency regulation restricting the distribution of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine to protect Nevadans needing these drugs for legitimate medical purposes. At this time, these drugs are being studied to determine their potential usefulness in treating COVID-19.
- Nevada is one of three states so far to be approved by the FDA to develop and approve COVID-19 test kits.
- The Nevada Department of Education approved 16 of 17 proposed school district distance learning plans to begin implementation on March 23, 2020.
- On March 22, Governor Sisolak announced the establishment of the Response, Relief, Recovery COVID-19 Taskforce to mobilize the private sector to assist in ongoing efforts addressing the challenges faced by the State and Nevada Health Response Center.
- On March 22, Governor Sisolak suspended the in-person component of the Open Meeting Law, instead asking public bodies to provide alternative opportunities for public participation in official business.
- On March 20, Governor Sisolak announced the closure of all public DMV offices through April 16. Individuals whose licenses expire during this time will be granted a 90-day extension on license renewal.
- On March 20, Governor Sisolak ordered all non-essential businesses to close their doors to the public. This order follows an earlier advisory from Nevada Health Response’s Risk Mitigation Initiative.
- Businesses continuing to operate after the effective date of the order will be subject to civil penalties, including fines and license revocation, as well as criminal penalties.
- Nevada Medicaid approved changes to approve coverage of telehealth services on the recommendation that all insurers cover telehealth. This change was made to align with recommendations made by the Governor’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team.
- On March 19, Governor Sisolak announced that school buildings will not reopen until April 16, 2020.
- State standardized testing requirements have been suspended.
- Public and charter schools are required to provide a plan for distance learning opportunities no later than March 23, 2020.
- The Governor’s office clarified that establishments primarily engaged in retailing beer, wine and liquor are non-essential.
- On March 19, Governor Sisolak waived work-search requirements as well as the wait period for individuals seeking unemployment benefits.
- On March 18, Governor Sisolak announced Nevada was one of the first states to receive approval from the Small Business Administration for low-interest disaster loans.
- On March 17, the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange announced an exceptional circumstance special enrollment period for those individuals who do not have health insurance through April 15, 2020.
- On March 16, the Nevada Department of Agriculture announced a two-tier response to address school meal interruption caused by school closure.
- The Nevada Department of Veterans Services has launched virtual visits at State of Nevada Veterans Homes.
- The Nevada Department of Taxation announced offices would be closed to the public. It is anticipated that mail and lock box services will still be available with potential interruptions.
- The Nevada Department of Employment, Training, and Rehabilitation launched an initial unemployment video for Spanish speakers.
- The Nevada Commission on Ethics has closed to the public, but public inquiries can be sent to NCOE@ethics.nv.gov.
- On March 16, the Nevada State Parks department announced parks will remain open to the public, but with limited or no services.
- The Nevada State Treasurer’s Office announced it will close public-facing offices, but continue critical work.
- The Division of Welfare and Supportive Services will be closed on Monday, March 16, 2020 and will reopen on Tuesday, March 17, 2020.
- The public is strongly encouraged to utilize available phone or online services.
- Applications, re-certifications or document uploads can be completed by clicking the Access NV button at https://dwss.nv.gov/.
- Employees who can work from home should do so;
- Ill employees must stay home;
- Businesses should protect employees who must work in-person in accordance with social distancing guidance appropriate for that workplace;
- Older people, those with health conditions, & other high risk populations should stay at home and avoid unnecessary contact;
- Faith leaders: If you are unable to accommodate social distancing protocols, please consider postponing services; and,
- Local governments should enforce 50% or less capacity of any public gathering space presently allowed by fire marshals.On March 15, Governor Sisolak issued the following directives to the citizens of Nevada:
- Additionally, gaming properties are strongly encouraged to consider closing to the public if they determine that this is the best way to protect the safety and well-being of Nevadans and visitors.
- On March 15, Governor Sisolak ordered all K-12 schools in the State of Nevada closed. This closure will take effect on Monday, March 16 and remain in effect through April 6, 2020.
- The Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation is preparing for an expected increase in Unemployment Insurance claims and reminds Nevadans to file their claims online.
- On March 12, Governor Sisolak activated the State Emergency Operations Center.
- On March 12, Governor Sisolak created the Nevada Health Response Team and debuted a centralized website for providing up-to-date information and guidance pertaining to COVID-19
- On March 12, Governor Sisolak issued strict guidelines for Nevada’s nursing homes and assisted living facilities.
- On March 12, Governor Sisolak declared an emergency for the State of Nevada. This declaration provides Nevada with the tools and flexibility necessary to address, contain, and mitigate the effects of COVID-19.
- The University of Nevada, Reno and University of Nevada, Las Vegas have announced that they will transition to online instruction on Monday, March 23 through the end of the spring semester.
- In coordination with Nevada’s federal delegation, the CDC and other federal agencies, and local health authorities, we are actively responding to cases of COVID-19.
- The Division of Public and Behavioral Health (DPBH) within Nevada Division of Health and Human Services is actively providing guidance, information, and support to local health authorities, hospitals, health care providers, facilities, schools, higher education institutions, and more throughout Nevada.
- Nevada State DPBH is coordinating with local health authorities and federal authorities that have implemented screening, monitoring and, in some cases quarantine of returning travelers.
- In coordination with the Nevada Department of Business and Industry’s Division of Insurance (DOI), Governor Steve Sisolak announced the adoption of an emergency regulation to ensure that Nevadans covered by health insurance policies regulated by the DOI are able to obtain medical services and prescriptions related to COVID-19 at their normal costs, despite disruptions caused by the spread of the virus.
- DPBH is supporting hospitals and local public health laboratories in the collection of specimens and testing for COVID-19.
LOCAL HEALTH AUTHORITIES
Carson City Health and Human Services (CCHHS): Carson City Health and Human Services is a local health department housed within the City of Carson City, a consolidated municipality. The CCHS Public Health Preparedness (PHP) team serves Carson City, Douglas, Lyon, and Storey counties.
Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD): Southern Nevada Health District is one of the largest local public health organizations in the United States. The health district serves more than 2.2 million residents in Southern Nevada and more than 42 million visitors to Las Vegas each year.
Washoe County Health District (WCHD): The Washoe County Health District has jurisdiction over all public health matters in Reno, Sparks, and Washoe County through the policy-making Washoe County District Board of Health. WCHD is charged with coordinating activities relating to public health emergency preparedness and response.
What if I don’t live in a county with a local health authority?
The Division of Public and Behavioral Health at the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services acts as the health authority for all regions in Nevada without a local health authority.
TESTING LABS IN NEVADA
Nevada has two designated public laboratories for COVID-19 testing, the State Public Health Laboratory located In Northern Nevada and the Southern Nevada Health District Public Health Laboratory located in Las Vegas.
Recently, the CDC confirmed that commercial labs have been provisionally approved to begin testing for COVID-19 in Nevada:
- LabCorp began testing in Nevada the first week of March. For more information from LabCorp on testing for COVID-19, click here.
- Quest Diagnostics began testing for COVID-19 on March 9th. For more information from Quest on testing for COVID-19, click here.
HOW YOU CAN HELP:
The news of this disease outbreak is concerning to all of us, but especially impacts communities who have family or other close connections in China or the greater Asian continent. We should all do our part not to make assumptions by discriminating, spreading misinformation, or harassing individuals, families and communities that have made Nevada their home. Just because a disease originates within a certain area of the world does not mean that every person who has an association with that country is ill or has the potential to contract the virus.
It’s currently flu and respiratory disease season and health officials recommend getting a flu vaccine if you haven’t done so yet; taking everyday preventive actions to help stop the spread of germs (staying away from others when sick; washing hands frequently; avoiding touching your face, mouth or eyes); and taking flu antivirals if prescribed.
If you are a health care provider caring for a novel coronavirus patient, please take care of yourself and follow recommended infection control procedures.
How Can People Protect Themselves:
Every person has a role to play. So much of protecting yourself and your family comes down to common sense:
- Washing hands with soap and water.
- Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
- Avoiding close contact with people who are sick.
- Staying away from work, school or other people if you become sick with respiratory symptoms like fever and cough.
- Following guidance from public health officials.
What to Do if You Think You’re Sick:
Call ahead: If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 and may have had contact with a person with COVID-19 or recently traveled to countries with apparent community spread, call your health care provider or local public health department FIRST before seeking medical care so that appropriate precautions can be taken.