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Clark County ‘can absolutely’ meet 100% capacity goal by June 1

Updated April 14, 2021 - 2:27 pm

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick said Wednesday that she believed the county “can absolutely” meet a June 1 goal to fully reopen businesses, which would signal a major step toward economic recovery in Nevada.

“I think that we can absolutely get there as long as people continue to get vaccinated and get tested to ensure that (the virus is) not spreading within our community,” she said in a briefing with reporters.

Kirkpatrick also said that the county will consider whether to lift social distancing mandates starting in May.

The milestones would align with those announced by Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday as counties throughout the state prepare to receive local regulatory control May 1 over how they deal with the pandemic, excluding certain aspects such as schools, gaming and face masks that will be governed by local districts and state authorities, respectively.

While Sisolak set the tone for reopenings, it will be up to counties to decide the local rules based on what makes most sense for each. The expectation is that certain counties will initially be more aggressive than others in shedding restrictions, meaning some might reopen businesses to 100 percent capacity before June 1.

As public health indicators continue to trend positively in Clark County — such as new coronavirus cases and vaccination rates — officials are feeling increasingly comfortable with reopening Southern Nevada. But Kirkpatrick also acknowledged that “every day is a concern because it’s always changing.”

“We do not want to shut back down, so we need a measured approach so that we can continue to stay on top of (the virus),” Kirkpatrick said.

Local plan to be presented

Kirkpatrick lauded the “yeoman’s work” performed by the regional multi-agency committee tasked with responding to the pandemic in Southern Nevada. The committee, which consists of local governments, public health officials and others, crafted a plan that outlines the county’s proposed mitigation and enforcement measures.

The plan will be presented to the county commission Tuesday. It notably calls for allowing nightclubs and strip clubs to reopen at 50 percent capacity starting May 1, while increasing the number of people who can sit at a restaurant table from six to 10, and reopening hot tubs, spas and self-service buffets.

Those rules are less restrictive than current state standards.

The plan, which must be presented to the state after it is adopted by county lawmakers, also preserves social distancing criteria. But Kirkpatrick said that the plan will be reviewed over the weekend and early next week following Sisolak’s announcement Tuesday that the state would no longer be mandating that requirement.

“We have to see what other things may need to be changed based on the conversation that was had yesterday,” she said.

Kirkpatrick also vowed that local officials will constantly re-evaluate metrics after June 1 and had no plans to cut back on observation or enforcement efforts.

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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