The local COVID-19 mitigation plan will expire June 1, allowing for the return of pre-pandemic guidelines that lift restrictions involving capacity limits, large gatherings and more, the Clark County Commission decided today.
The new CDC guidance on masks recommends that those who are not vaccinated continue wearing masks and following social distancing and other precautions until fully vaccinated. The guidance allows fully vaccinated people to stop wearing face coverings in crowds and in many indoor locations. The new guidance at the federal, state and now local level allows private businesses and organizations to require patrons and employees to wear face coverings.
Additionally, masks still must be worn in hospitals and healthcare facilities and on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in transportation hubs such as airports and stations. More guidance about masks is on the CDC’s website at https://bit.ly/3ftHiNU.
Officials said increasing vaccination rates, a low positivity rate and normal hospitalization rates all justify the lifting of restrictions. In the event that hospitalizations should rise, additional mitigation measures may be required for the protection of the community, officials said.
“Public safety has been our priority from the beginning of the pandemic in accordance with guidance set by the CDC and the governor’s directives,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “Our community has made huge strides in containing the virus, and we will continue to work with all our partners to keep our caseloads and local hospital capacity in check. As we celebrate this milestone in getting back to normal life, we also want to remind our community that we need to continue looking out for the health and safety of each other. If you haven’t been vaccinated yet, please wear a mask and practice social distancing until you are. Getting vaccinated is the key to stopping COVID-19 and keeping our community safe.”
Clark County worked with the Southern Nevada Health District and community stakeholders including the cities of Las Vegas, Henderson, North Las Vegas, Mesquite and Boulder City on the matter. The existing mitigation plan went into effect May 1 after the state of Nevada delegated authority to Clark County to manage COVID-19 mitigation measures consistent with statewide directives. The local plan at that time increased capacity restrictions for public gatherings to 80 percent and reduced social distancing requirements from six to three feet.
Once the local mitigation plan is no longer in effect, it will be more important for people to follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidance on wearing masks, per state directive, to ensure COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations continue to decline. Additionally, existing regulations set for by state and local jurisdictions including the Nevada Gaming Control Board and Nevada OSHA will apply.
“This is a major milestone in the region’s response and recovery to the COVID-19 pandemic,” said North Las Vegas City Councilman Scott Black, who also chairs the Southern Nevada Health District Board of Health. “For the past 15 months, the city of North Las Vegas has worked closely with Clark County and neighboring cities to analyze, plan and carry out mitigation and enforcement efforts that align with CDC, state and SNHD guidelines. The city will continue to support regional efforts to stop the spread of COVID-19 and reach all residents, especially access to testing, vaccines and other relief for those who live in under vaccinated communities, as we work together to safely reopen our economy.”
In ending the mitigation plan, a provision was dropped that required 60 percent of eligible residents to have at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before reopening to 100 percent capacity. Officials said they are hopeful vaccination rates will increase in the community as efforts continue to make the vaccines widely accessible to the public through pop-up clinics, community sites and special events. Appointments at Health District and community partner vaccine clinics are available at www.snhd.info/covid-vaccine or by calling the state’s vaccine hotline at 1-800-401-0946, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily. The COVID-19 vaccine also is available to those who are homebound. For information call (702) 455-0696 or email HomeboundVaccine@ClarkCountyNV.gov. Additional COVID-19 clinic information can be found online at www.NVCOVIDFighter.org.
“All of the cities and Clark County have worked together to help get our community vaccinated and to take the necessary steps to safely reopen,” city of Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn G. Goodman said. “We are one community, and I am excited that we are now fully reopening our economy.”
“While the COVID-19 virus is far from eradicated, the widespread availability of effective vaccines has greatly lowered the risk to the community and it is time to loosen restrictions,” said Henderson Mayor Debra March. “By continuing to follow the guidelines established by the CDC, we can safely transition Clark County residents back to their pre-pandemic lifestyle with family, friends and coworkers.”
The Commission approved a revision to the mitigation plan to align the face covering section with the new CDC guidance on masks. The new language encourages compliance with face covering requirements for non-vaccinated attendees, vendors and performers. Organizers of large gatherings with more than 250 attendees scheduled in Clark County prior to June 1 are required to submit a COVID-19 Preparedness and Safety Plan. Those that have received approval letters for their events – about 30 to date – will be contacted and asked to resubmit the letters with a signed and dated copy of the face coverings section of the plan containing the updated guidance on masks. Organizers are asked to check the box related to that revised section and email a copy of the letter and signed form to: firstname.lastname@example.org
In addition to CDC guidance, the public is encouraged to consult the following resources regarding health and safety regulations and COVID-19-related information:
- Nevada Gaming Control Board: https://bit.ly/3onHfYh
- Nevada OSHA: https://bit.ly/3yi1meJ
- Nevada Health Response: https://bit.ly/3dleR3m
- SNHD: https://bit.ly/3weIXh6
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused enormous hardships for so many over the past fifteen months,” said Boulder City Mayor Kiernan McManus. “The guidance of the CDC, the State of Nevada, and the availability of vaccines have made a positive impact on keeping many of our residents protected from the virus. Seeing the strain of the pandemic lifting and the threat of the disease lessening is what we have all been hoping to realize. Having more of our residents be vaccinated may finally put this behind us and let us all get the important parts of our lives back.”
Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability. With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 7th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.