Nevada Panel Considering Reopening Bars At Midnight Thursday

Bars Were Closed For A 2nd Time Three Weeks Ago

Associated Press
August 20, 2020 - 4:15 am
Group of drunk friends toasting cocktails at bar restautant

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RENO, Nev. (AP) — The head of a new state coronavirus compliance review panel says decisions will be made Thursday about whether bars and other businesses will be allowed to reopen just hours later in Nevada’s two largest metropolitan areas and four rural counties.

State COVID-19 response chief Caleb Cage acknowledged that directions provided during a Mitigation Task Force meeting Thursday might give hundreds of business owners as little as 12 hours’ notice about whether they can begin serving drinks across bars in Las Vegas and Reno, as well as in Pahrump, Elko, Winnemucca and Battle Mountain

But Cage said the panel began accepting and reviewing coronavirus prevention plans this week from officials representing the affected counties: Clark, Washoe, Nye, Elko, Lander and Humboldt.

“We’ve been meeting with each of the affected counties ... and had a number of conversations with their health and administrative leadership in order to make sure things are in place,” he said during a media conference call Wednesday in Carson City..

In Las Vegas, an attorney who represented dozens of bar and tavern owners trying to force Governor Steve Sisolak to let them open said this week he expected business representatives will turn out in force.

Sisolak turned over authority for reopening to the task force last Friday and said his closure order would expire Thursday at midnight. Bars that don’t serve food would be allowed to reopen at 50% occupancy if all employees wear face coverings and customers sit 6 feet  apart.

Bars closed in March and remained shuttered for 48 days before being allowed to reopen June 30. Bars in and around Las Vegas were ordered closed again July 27th after coronavirus cases spiked in those areas.