Gov. Sisolak announces plan to end Nevada’s COVID-19 State of Emergency
LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Governor Steve Sisolak on Friday announced his intention to end Nevada’s State of Emergency related to the COVID-19 pandemic on May 20, a move ending a measure lasting 26 months to respond to the global spread of the virus.
The State of Emergency has been in place since March 2020, according to a news release, and has allowed Nevada “to respond to challenges brought forward by the unprecedented pandemic.”
Between now and May 20, Gov. Sisolak says that Nevada will “continue to work with partners who are using the flexibility allowed by the Declaration of Emergency to ensure there is no gap in services when the emergency ends.”
“The COVID-19 pandemic tried and tested our State on every level. By working together across all levels of government and in every corner of the State, we kept prevented our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed and continued to provide services to Nevadans in need,” said Gov. Sisolak. “I am so grateful to all the Nevadans who worked through these trying times in service of the Silver State.”
The release notes that the emergency orders “gave flexibility for Nevada to respond to challenges as they arose.”
“A number of measures – including portions of Emergency Directive 11, which waived certain licensing requirements to allow the State to bring additional health care workers into hospitals, and allow certain doctors, nurses, EMTs, and medical students to go to work under proper supervision to care for COVID-19 patients – are still in place, and the State is working with the appropriate partners as the emergency order ends,” the release states.
Nevada suffered a critical shortage of healthcare workers, as COVID-19 patient numbers surged to 2,000 during two winter surges. Hospitalizations remain at around 130 people across the state of Nevada, according to the latest statistics from the DHHS website.
The dean of the UNLV School of Medicine called the move “forward thinking,” as the pandemic enters into a new phase.
“The governor is still going to allow for licensing and more rapid licensing of healthcare professionals that we really need in our state. This is forward thinking, hopefully we’re going to learn from the pandemic and moving forward we’ll be able to do things quickly to keep the population safe,” said Dean Marc Kahn.
The shift comes as COVID-19 cases are once again creeping across the Silver State. The B.A.2 Omicron subvariant dominates cases, and according to the UNLV Wastewater Surveillance program, the B.A.2.12.1 is gaining ground. It already accounts for a third of cases across the U.S.
“Some of the newer Omicron subvariants might lead to a bigger surge in cases or infections. B.A.2.12.1. This is a variant that’s been circulating. It’s been circulating in the Northeast, and it’s resulted in a lot more infections and a slightly higher rate of hospitalizations,” said Dr. Edwin Oh.
The program remains critical to detect the amount of virus spreading in communities, as more people test at home.
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