ne person is diagnosed with COVID-19 every minute in Nevada, and there is one death from it every two hours, state health officials said Wednesday. The state reported a new record of additional 3,159 cases on Wednesday, one day after the previous record.
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman called Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak “a dictator” after the Democratic governor issued a three-week “state-wide pause” to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
Sisolak has been reluctant to order business closures like he did in March. But he announced the state’s most expansive mask mandate to date Sunday and reduced the capacity at casinos, restaurants, bars and many other businesses from 50 percent to 25 percent.
“He’s been a dictator with whom we have complied every step of the way,” Goodman told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “Obviously this was crushing to the city.”
In Las Vegas, Clark County announced earlier this week that public buildings except McCarran International Airport and University Medical Center will close and that government center activities that can’t be conducted virtually will be canceled. Las Vegas City Hall will remain open with public health guidelines enforced, city officials said.
Goodman cast doubt that the new order would only last three weeks, adding that COVID-19 would not disappear until a vaccine was widely available. “He’s tried all these measures, and it is still here,” she said. Goodman said Sisolak does not consider any information that he doesn’t agree with and does not reach out to mayors for input.
Las Vegas is part of the Southern Nevada Regional Recovery Organization, which reports weekly to the state’s coronavirus task force. Sisolak denied Goodman’s claim in a statement to the Review-Journal, saying the state routinely consults with local governments. He said that Las Vegas routinely failed to meet business compliance inspection quotas. He also called on Nevada’s leaders to be unified in their message.
In April, Goodman called Sisolak’s decision to shut down casinos and all nonessential businesses “insanity.”
Nearly half of the state’s 142,239 total cases since the start of the pandemic in March have occurred since September — fully one-fourth of those in the month of November and 10 percent in just the last seven days, according to the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services
“We have COVID-19 exploding in our community. It is spreading rapidly,” Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick told reporters in Reno, as reported by the New York Post. “We have exponential growth going on.”
While the majority of the state’s cases and 2,071 total deaths have been reported in Clark County — the most populous county that includes Las Vegas — the Reno-Sparks area in Washoe County has been hit the hardest in recent weeks. By comparison, Dick said, the latest surge has resulted in more than twice as many cases per 100,000 people in the Reno-Sparks area as the previous biggest spike in Las Vegas this summer.