LAS VEGAS (FOX5/AP) -- A requirement for Nevada System of Higher Education students to be vaccinated is being lifted immediately after an item failed to pass in the Interim Legislative Commission.

In party-line votes, lawmakers on the Legislative Commission voted 6-6 on whether to expand the Board of Health’s emergency measures into more permanent regulations. Without majority support, Nevada cannot extend the mandates.

Democrats make up the majority in the Nevada Legislature, which meets every other year, but the commission is split equally between the parties.

“To me, it is unfathomable that we are arguing over whether a vaccine policy is something that we should support,” state Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro said.

"Following the direction of the Legislative Commission, any student registration hold based on not having a COVID-19 vaccine must be lifted immediately," Nevada System of Higher Education Chancellor Melody Rose wrote in a memo.

The memo asks school leaders to share the information with their student affairs professionals to "take swift action."

The votes overturn two August decisions from the state Board of Health requiring vaccines. A mandate on state workers applied to Department of Corrections and Health and Human Services workers as well as employees or contractors working with “vulnerable populations,” such as in youth or residential treatment centers. A Nevada System of Higher Education mandate required students at state colleges, with few exceptions, to show proof of vaccination to register for classes in the spring semester.

The board of health cannot extend the mandates, which were passed as 120-day emergency measures, and any permanent requirements would need to be passed by the full Legislature — which isn’t scheduled to meet until 2023 — or win approval as long-term regulations from the board and legislative commission.

The NSHE employee vaccine mandate remains in place, as well as the state mask mandate for students and workers. 

"Although the vaccine regulation is now expired, we still strongly encourage those who are unvaccinated to seek medical advice and make plans to get vaccinated," Rose wrote. 

Philanthropy-Vaccine-Misinformation

FILE - In this April 26, 2021 file photo, a nursing student administers the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination center at UNLV, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

NSHE includes Great Basin College, Nevada State College, University of Nevada Las Vegas, University of Nevada Reno, College of Southern Nevada, Truckee Meadows Community College, Desert Research Institute and Western Nevada College.

Coronavirus cases are once again on the rise in Nevada. The state has reported five cases of the omicron variant, the positivity rate as measured as a 14-day average is rising and the Las Vegas area is reporting more cases than it has since the peak of last summer’s surge in August.

Gov. Steve Sisolak’s health response team plans to continue to pursue extending the vaccine mandates and will resubmit them to the Legislative Commission next year, Meghin Delaney, the governor’s spokesperson, said in a statement.

State health officials also announced Tuesday that masking requirements for vaccinated people will be lifted Friday in rural Storey and White Pine counties because the two counties had low or moderate risk of transmission of the coronavirus for the second straight week.

Storey and White Pine counties join Esmaralda County, which was released from a masking requirement for vaccinated people in late November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Copyright 2021 KVVU (KVVU Broadcasting Corporation). All rights reserved

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(4) comments

qwerty123

It's a bad decision. Vaccine mandates have helped keep campuses and students safe from infectious diseases for over a century. Unfortunately one side has chosen short term political gain over the health and welfare of Americans.

Nevermore

So maybe we should close the border to.unvaccinated illegals? Maybe the government should stop telling us how we need to take care of our health!? Isn't that our own responsibility? Or should the government start telling us that smoking is detrimental to our health, that alcohol is detrimental to our health, and obesity is detrimental to our health. Where does it stop?

vegasdawn

Why not tell the whole story that the 6 democrats voted to destroy our rights and freedoms while the 6 Republicans voted the right way. It should be voluntary, not mandatory.

Nevermore

I agree.

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