Some 85 percent of Nevada businesses are complying with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask-wearing mandate, according to a new survey conducted by the state’s Department of Business and Industry.
State business regulators on Wednesday announced they had conducted 259 business inspections across the state since Sisolak’s latest COVID-prevention order took effect on June 26.
Officials said those reviews were limited to industries and sectors “from which high volumes of complaints have been received.” Their review focused on retail and grocery stores, gyms, hair salons and any other operations “where large groups of people may be congregating for longer periods of time.”
Gaming watchdogs conducted nearly 7,500 similar inspections and dug up 111 violations over the same time period, officials said in a release from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Businesses that willfully violate Sisolak’s mask order face a fine of up to $134,940.
Top members of the state’s COVID-19 response took time to praise business owners for complying with the mask mandate during a Wednesday daily conference call with reporters, when they again underscored the importance of practicing social distancing and wearing face coverings amid an ongoing spike in coronavirus cases.
“We believe this rise is real,” said COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage. “This is a very, very serious virus and we need to meet it with everything we’ve got.”
Cage said residents can report complaints about noncompliant businesses by calling 702-486-9020 or 775-688-3700.
The Silver State has seen a record-setting spike in new coronavirus cases since casinos reopened on June 4.
Nevada crested 19,000 known coronavirus cases on Wednesday, when officials identified 645 new cases of the disease.
The number of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations rose to 454, the highest mark since the outbreak began. The statewide rate of new cases also grew by 3.9 percent over the past week, almost tripling the trend seen during the last week of May.
Four additional deaths were reported, bringing the total number of coronavirus-related deaths in Nevada to 511.
Cage said virus-related hospitalizations have stayed on an upward trend since May 31, though use of hospital ventilators and intensive care unit beds remains “pretty stable.”
James DeHaven is the politics reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. He covers campaigns, the Nevada Legislature and everything in between. Support his work by subscribing to RGJ.com right here.