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Sisolak names Caleb Cage as coronavirus response director

CARSON CITY — Nevada now has a full-time director to guide the state’s COVID-19 response and coordinate efforts among federal, state and local agencies.

Gov. Steve Sisolak named Caleb Cage to the post Monday. Cage formerly headed the state Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security and most recently served as assistant vice chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education in charge of workforce development and community colleges. He will serve through December, working out of the governor’s office.

The position is federally funded from monies provided to Nevada under the CARES Act approved in March. Earlier Monday, the Legislature’s Interim Finance Committee approved the transfer of $51,442 in federal funds to cover the cost of Cage’s position and a second related post through June.

“This new, expanded role will help propel the state of Nevada forward as we continue our gradual, phased-in reopening and fortify our response to this unprecedented public health crisis,” Sisolak said in a statement announcing the appointment. “Mr. Cage brings a wealth of experience that will ensure our federally supported, state managed and locally executed response plan is effective in the immediate and the long-term.”

Coordinating among agencies such as the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the state Department of Health and Human Services, and local authorities at the county and city level, Cage will focus especially on expanding Nevada’s COVID-19 testing effort and capacity and contact tracing among those who test positive for the infection.

A native Nevadan, Cage has served in government posts since 2007, including policy adviser to both the governor and lieutenant governor and head of the state Office of Veterans Services, in addition to his emergency management post.

The position of state COVID-19 administrator will be tasked with identifying all pandemic-related federal funding available to the state and working with legislative leadership and federal and local entities to best allocate those resources, the governor’s office staff told the legislative finance committee Monday.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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