COVID: Governor of Nevada ends the mandate for the use of masks

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak.

Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada and its casinos stopped requiring people to wear masks in public on Thursday, joining the other states in the country that lifted the mask mandate imposed to limit the spread of the coronavirus.

Democratic Governor Steve Sisolak announced that the state no longer requires face coverings in most places, “with immediate effect”.

But to prevent students from removing their masks in class, the rules for schools remained in effect until the end of the day. “Face masks are not required for students, teachers, and employees beginning tomorrow morning,” the governor said.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board quickly followed up with an order lifting the face covering rule for casinos. “unless a local jurisdiction still imposes such a requirement.”

The governor reported that the places in Nevada where masks may still be required they include hospitals, clinics, and long-term care facilities, at airports and on airplanes, and on public and school buses. He also clarified that masks are no longer mandatory in prisons and correctional facilities.

Sisolak, who is seeking re-election in November, has been under increasing pressure to relax Covid-prevention regulations. The governor also said that employers and school districts can still set their own policies.

The governor said there is a sharp decline in coronavirus cases in Nevada from a peak in mid-January. However, the spread of Covid in Nevada remains above the federal thresholds for positivity and new cases per population of 100,000 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The CDC continues to recommend wearing masks indoors in places of “substantial or high transmission” of Covid, which as of Wednesday was all of the US except 14 rural counties.

Sisolak said that CDC guidelines would no longer be binding in Nevada under the new executive order suspending the use of face masks that he signed Thursday.

Sisolak acted shortly after officials in New York, Illinois and California announced plans to end indoor mask mandates in those states and keep the rule in place for schoolchildren.

As the number of new COVID-19 cases continues to decline in the US, a growing number of states, including California, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island, have reduced or advertised plans to end certain mask mandates, including some for schoolsand other COVID-19 restrictions intended to reduce transmission of the virus.

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