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Gov. Steve Sisolak Keeps Bars Closed in Clark County, Plans to Target Businesses Not Complying With COVID-19 Orders

“We are close to five months in. No more excuses. If people aren’t following the rules to keep us safe, there needs to be consequences.”

A man puts a closed sign on a door
Bars that do not serve food remain closed in Clark County

Bars and taverns that don’t serve food in Clark County will remain closed to prevent the spread of COVID-19 for at least another week, Gov. Steve Sisolak said during a press conference streamed from Carson City. He says that the number of COVID-19 cases remains high in Clark County, a metric he says needs to drop in order to reopen. He’ll also keep bars in Nye, Washoe, and Elko counties closed.

Sisolak closed bars in seven counties on July 10 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Bars in rural Lander, Lyon, and Humboldt counties, which he also closed on July 10, are allowed to reopen, he says.

The governor also plans to target specific businesses to see if they are adhering to his policies regarding mandatory masks, social distancing, and 50 percent capacity instead of focusing on entire industries. His new plan put together with the Nevada Health Response team comes with a long-term mitigation strategy for the state and will be announced next Monday.

“No business, local government, or individual should be surprised by future actions,” Sisolak says. “The good and bad will be announced regularly and the resulting actions will be clear.”

Sisolak says that keeping businesses open falls on the shoulders of customers and owners alike. “Those who want to keep our restaurants, gyms, and other activities open should do their part to make this happen. Those that don’t will be the ones responsible for the restrictions that are put in place,” he says.

“To put it bluntly, the time for education is over,” he says. “Businesses, Nevadans, and visitors should all be familiar with the expectations of reduced indoor capacity, required face coverings, and social distancing. We are close to five months in. No more excuses. If people aren’t following the rules to keep us safe, there needs to be consequences.”

That means stricter enforcement of his safety and health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. “This will include measures that aim to ensure that business establishments who serve unmasked patrons may be closed if they fit the pattern of non-compliance.”

He pointed to casinos, water parks, sporting events, and gyms specifically as businesses that will be scrutinized closely.

Sisolak also said he’s going to conduct ZIP code analysis to find COVID-19 hot zones where inspectors will check on businesses to see which are adhering to his mandates.

Sisolak allowed bars to reopen on June 4 after closing all nonessential businesses on March 17 to prevent the spread of COVID-19. On June 26, after an increased number of COVID-19 cases reported statewide, particularly in Clark County, Sisolak mandated that everyone in a public space must wear a mask or face covering and should wear one outdoors where social distancing is difficult.

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