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Nye County votes to reopen with no masks required

Updated April 8, 2021 - 11:49 am

The Nye County Commission voted unanimously Tuesday to direct county staff to allow businesses to operate at 100 percent capacity, fully open all county and town offices and no longer mirror the state’s mandate on mask use.

Commissioners told county staff to “fully reopen Nye County to 100 percent occupancy” and recommend, but no longer mandate, mask use. They also passed a separate resolution asking the Nevada Legislature to rescind the state’s pandemic emergency declaration.

The commission will review a reopening plan at its April 20 meeting.

The state is set to hand control of most, but not all, of its mitigation mandates over to local governments on May 1. The county’s agenda item said it “will not violate a citizen’s Constitutional right if wearing a mask is against their religion, or they are exempt per the governor’s directives.”

A statewide mask mandate remains in effect and will continue even after May 1, according to Gov. Steve Sisolak’s spokeswoman, Meghin Delaney.

“The State’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, under the leadership of Nevada’s COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage, has been working with counties as they prepare their plans for the transition to local authority on May 1 based on the State’s Roadmap to Recovery plan. Nye County has been participating in these meetings with the State,” Delaney said in a statement.

”The local plans for the transition will be submitted for further discussion and consideration by the task force in the coming weeks,” Delany added. “As laid out in the State’s Roadmap to Recovery plan, statewide directives that will remain in place to mitigate the spread after May 1 will include face masks.”

Nye County’s COVID-19 test positivity rate has dropped consistently over the last two weeks and is in line with the state’s at just under 5 percent.

About 21 percent of the county’s population has received a first dose of COVID-19 vaccine, and about 13 percent have completed the necessary two doses.

The state’s overall positivity rate has increased slightly this week after several months of decrease.

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

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