Is Nevada ready to reopen?

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 22: A message on a sign placed in front of the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign, where tourists often line up to take photos, displays a message about social distancing due to the continuing spread of the coronavirus across the United States on March 22, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. On Friday, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered a mandatory shutdown of most nonessential businesses in the state until April 16 to help combat the spread of the virus. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Eagle News — “When will we reopen our economy?” — is the biggest question that hangs over business owners and politicians. Time lost, is money lost.

The Las Vegas strip,  is an economic powerhouse. Not only for the city of Las Vegas but for the entire state of Nevada. The impacts of visitor (tourism/conventions) spending in 2018, Southern Nevada’s tourism industry contributed $57.6 billion in total output.

It’s no wonder that Mayor Carolyn Goodman, wants to reopen the Las Vegas Strip. During a live interview on CNN, Mayor Goodman said, “right now, we’re in a crisis health-wise, and so for a restaurant to be open or a small boutique to be open, they better figure it out. That’s their job. That’s not the mayor’s job.”

LAS VEGAS, NV – APRIL 28: Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman listens during a Southern Nevada Tourism Infrastructure Committee meeting at UNLV with Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis (not pictured) on April 28, 2016 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP)

However, the biggest backlash to Mayor Goodman’s interview, was when she offered to use the city of Las Vegas, as a control group to measure against the virus. Stating, “we [city of Las Vegas] would love to be that placebo side so you have something to measure against.”

Nevada Responds

Congresswoman Dina Titus wave to supporters of Senator Harry Reid at a campaign rally in the closely contested election battle against Republican Sharron Angle in Las Vegas on October 13, 2010.(Photo by MARK RALSTON / AFP)

Congresswoman Dina Titus, whose district includes the entire Las Vegas Strip did give a statement in response “we have to listen to the scientists and right now they will tell us, we must continue to stay at home as much as possible, businesses in Las Vegas will only be able to recover. If we take this pandemic seriously.”

LAS VEGAS, NEVADA – MARCH 17: Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference on the state’s response to the coronavirus outbreak at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building on March 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada. Sisolak announced a statewide closure of all nonessential businesses by noon on March 18th for at least 30 days and said all gaming machines were to close by midnight tonight. The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus (COVID-19) a global pandemic on March 11th. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, unveiled a four phased approach to reopening Nevada’s economy. And he stated that it is highly dependent upon expanded testing and tracing capacity.

But as of right now, the state of Nevada, is at Phase Zero.

Stating in the Governors Press Conference release, “Lifting social distancing measures too soon and without a strategy can be compared to a parachute which slows the rate of descent, but if removed too early still ends in tragedy.”

To move from Phase Zero to Phase One, is heavily relied on the ability for the healthcare and public health systems to adequately respond to situation at hand. Including:

  • Maintaining hospital capacity without being in crisis and sufficient public health workforce
  • Both local and state governments are to also conduct case contact tracing with the main goal of being able to isolate.

Phase One consists of:

  • Elective outpatient surgeries
  • The reopening of gyms under strict social distancing protocols
  • The reopening of some other “large venues” — such as restaurants, movie theaters, athletic facilities and churches — with tight caps on the number of residents allowed inside.

But as of right now, Nevada state government cannot release a firm date of when phase one can even begin.

Until the state of Nevada can hit these bench marks, the economy will remain closed. Sorry Mayor Goodman, you’re going to have to wait.

© Eagle News