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Sisolak: ‘Unacceptable’ that only half of businesses obey mask rule

Nearly half of businesses were reported compliant with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate in a new state survey, which the governor called “disappointing and unacceptable” in a statement Friday.

Of 204 businesses, 49 percent were found in compliance with the face-covering mandate in the survey conducted Thursday by the Division of Industrial Relations Occupation Safety and Health Administration. Half of bar and restaurant bar areas were found in compliance, and the remaining businesses, including car sales and maintenance shops, gyms, hair and nail salons and tattoo shops, showed a 61 percent compliance rate.

“To those businesses operating in violation of the directive by not implementing safe social distancing and face covering protocols, you’re not only jeopardizing people’s health but you’re also jeopardizing your fellow businesses, your industry, and our overall economy,” Sisolak said in the statement.

The governor’s mandate to wear masks in public spaces went into effect June 26 with some exceptions, including children under 10, people with medical conditions and people eating and drinking in restaurants or bars. Since the mandate was put in place, the compliance rate is 85 percent in Northern Nevada and 65 percent in Southern Nevada, according to the statement.

The number of COVID-19 cases continues to rise in Nevada, with 985 new cases reported statewide and 848 in Clark County on Friday. Sisolak extended Phase Two of the state’s reopening plan in an effort to curb rising numbers.

In the statement, Sisolak said he has “growing concerns” with the increasing cases and warned that should noncompliance with the mask mandate continue, he will take “swift and decisive action” in areas with significant increases and noncompliance.

“To the businesses who are complying, I want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart on behalf of all Nevada,” Sisolak said in the statement. “You’re protecting our businesses, our health, our jobs, our economy and your industry.”

Contact Amanda Bradford at abradford@reviewjournal.com. Follow @amandabrad_uc on Twitter.

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