Sisolak hopeful to boost convention capacity

Says plan is in place, but virus numbers have to decrease

Associated Press
October 27, 2020 - 5:05 am
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks during a news conference on the state's response to the coronavirus outbreak at the Grant Sawyer State Office Building on March 17, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Las Vegas, NV (AP) -Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak said Monday that he hopes to lift limits and allow conventions to return at 50% capacity by next January, but said he couldn’t do so unless the pandemic reversed course.

Bringing conventions back to Las Vegas, he said, will help businesses, laid-off workers and replenish the tax revenue lost from closures. Despite current trends, he added it was important to signal to convention organizers that Nevada intended to contain the virus enough to allow large events to return.

“Whether or not we get there is not about luck. It’s not a matter of chance. It’s not a matter of ‘We’ll see what happens,’” he said. “It’s a matter of each and every one of you. We need the public’s help and cooperation to make this possible.”

The governor said he was not prepared to roll back recent reopening measures, which raised the capacity on public gatherings from 50 to 250 people and allowed bars to reopen. He implored residents to follow prevention measures but said gatherings of up to 250 people allowed by the state were safe.

“You have to make a choice today, this week and in the months ahead of us: Do you care more about your child returning to in-person learning than you do attending that Halloween party?”

The number of individuals hospitalized with COVID-19 has risen as Nevada has experienced a fall surge in new cases. State officials reported 475 new confirmed cases on Monday, bringing the statewide total to 96,178 since the start of the pandemic. Officials flagged eight of the state’s 17 counties, including Clark, as “high risk” on Monday due to rising case counts and infection rates.