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Sisolak: Restrictions to slow spread of COVID-19 coming ‘very soon’

Updated November 18, 2020 - 1:54 pm

CARSON CITY — Gov. Steve Sisolak on Wednesday said he will be announcing new measures to stem the spread of COVID-19 in the state “very soon,” but the governor stopped short of giving firm timeline for when that announcement would come or detailing what those restrictions would be.

Speaking to reporters during a COVID-19 response team call, Sisolak noted that the state is not seeing a downward trend in the spread of the virus, and that his administration “is exploring all mitigation options available to get this under control.”

Sisolak did not say exactly when he would announce those moves, saying only that the public “should expect to hear from me and our current status and decisions on the next steps very soon.”

Sisolak said that his team is gathering input and working with state health and emergency management officials and economic leaders in developing those measures.

“This will help determine options for our best path forward that will stop the wildfire spread our state is currently experiencing as a result of COVID-19 and attempting to protect our very fragile economy,” Sisolak said. “We will have many more details to share soon.”

On Nov. 10, Sisolak asked Nevadans to stay at home as much as possible for two weeks to slow the spread of the virus amid another surge.

Related: Coronavirus in Nevada: Tracking the spread

But in the eight days since that press conference, coronavirus cases and hospitalizations have spiked across Nevada, with the state recording new record highs in its seven-day moving average of new cases and for positive cases reported in a single day when more than 2,000 new cases were reported for the first time on Saturday.

On Wednesday, the Nevada Hospital Association said that the state has reached its highest number of hospitalized patients of any point during the pandemic.

“To be blunt, our state is surging and continues to surge,” Sisolak said Wednesday. “I’m incredibly concerned about the severity of COVID-19 in our state.”

Sisolak did not answer directly when asked if the state is facing another economic shutdown like it experienced in the spring, saying that he and his staff are analyzing COVID-19 trend data as it comes forward.

But in responding to other questions about potentially keeping casinos open, the governor said he doesn’t want to “shut down all of the economy if we can avoid it.”

“That’s why we need to do everything we can as individuals to try to do our part to reduce the possibility of spread, and at the same time attempt to keep some kind of economy open as we move forward,” Sisolak said. “But we’re going to have to wait and see how we can balance that.”

But there is “light at the end of this tunnel,” according to Sisolak, who pointed to the recent announcements from Pfizer and Moderna about the high effective rate of their coronavirus vaccines.

“I’m hopeful that we can just continue to push through this and press forward as a vaccine becomes available,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak, who tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday, also provided an update on his condition.

“I’m doing well, with only mild head congestion earlier in the week,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak said that he is not taking any oxygen or medication, and has been isolated and working from his residence in Carson City.

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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