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Clark County shuts down a dozen nonessential businesses in 3 days

Updated March 24, 2020 - 6:09 pm

Clark County’s Business License Department shut down 12 nonessential businesses during the first three days of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s emergency order, according to county spokesman Dan Kulin.

The department conducted at least 71 site visits through Monday and also cited three establishments for operating without a business license. The order for all nonessential businesses in Nevada to close went into effect Saturday in an effort to slow the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The businesses visited by the county that did not have their licenses suspended complied with the emergency order, Kulin said. Figures on closures Tuesday were not immediately available.

The Metropolitan Police Department said Monday that it had issued 36 warning letters and four citations since Friday, while seven businesses were forced to close because they would not do so voluntarily. Officers in plainclothes visited 113 businesses. The department contracts with the county and city of Las Vegas to provide police services.

It was not immediately clear to what degree the figures reported by the county and Metro overlapped, although Kulin said they did to some extent.

“Metro police has been a great partner in this effort,” Kulin said in an email. “Officers have visited suspected businesses and issued warnings to some. We are aware of the businesses they have interacted with and will be following up with them.”

In North Las Vegas, the city has not had to shut down any businesses violating the order as of mid-afternoon Tuesday, according to city spokesman Patrick Walker. But the city has received 22 complaints from the public and made about 100 site visits and roughly 7,000 calls to proactively warn businesses about the order.

Las Vegas city spokesman David Riggleman said city business license officers will begin pairing Wednesday with Metro officers tasked with enforcing the closures. The teams will work seven days a week to respond to complaints received through 311 and visit suspected violating businesses.

“Metro will still have the enforcement authority, but our staff can help them navigate the gray areas as to what is an essential or nonessential business,” Riggleman said in an email. “This team approach will allow Metro to cover more locations each day by placing more teams in the field.”

Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Blake Apgar contributed to this report.

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