LAS VEGAS (AP) - Nevada reported 13 more deaths and 930 additional confirmed COVID-19 cases on Saturday as a closure order for bars in seven counties took effect along with re-imposed limits on restaurants.
Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday announced that Nevada would join other states in closing bars again after seeing a spike in cases in recent weeks. Restaurants would also need to close their bar areas.
Sisolak said the tightened restrictions would apply to counties deemed hot spots, including the counties that encompass Las Vegas and Reno. Elko, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon and Nye were the other counties that had to close bars.
Additionally, Sisolak imposed statewide rules that barred restaurants from serving groups of more than six people.
Sisolak’s new directive was the second time Nevada has tightened restrictions since the state began reopening, starting with restaurants in May and bars and casinos in early June.
After new positive cases and hospitalization rates rose in recent weeks, the governor imposed a statewide mask mandate starting June 26.
Nevada has reported 592 deaths from COVID-19 and nearly 27,000 confirmed cases. The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some - especially older adults and people with existing health problems - it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death.
The bar closure order took effect at midnight Friday, and moans could be heard in The Griffin on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas when bartenders announced last call at 11:30 p.m., the Las Vegas Reivew-Journal reported.
“I’m bummed,” patron Dave Salcedo, 55, said upon hearing last call. “I love it here.”
Roxanne Gomez expressed frustration with the closure order, the Review-Journal reported.
She’d lost her job at The Golden Tiki in the original shutdown and was excited by the prospect of returning to work when it reopened but was sidelined when she contracted the virus.
As of Thursday, when Sisolak announced the new closure order, Gomez was awaiting the negative test result that would allow her to return to work.
“I’m still left here with no unemployment, no help,” Gomez said. “I’m just so frustrated.”
Scarlett Brock, a bartender at the Spaghetty Western restaurant, said she was still waiting to receive unemployment payments from the initial shutdown and that the financial impact of being out of work again was “a knock in the face.”
She also said it took a toll on her mental health but that she wasn’t blaming “any particular person, because no one particular person brought this virus to us. So at this point, I’m angry at the situation.”
Katie Alexander, general manager and bartender at the Huntridge Tavern, told KTNV-TV she was devastated by the closure.
“I’m afraid for my bartenders, my cleaning guys,” Alexander said. “I’m afraid for myself too, I mean, this is a mom and pop place … is owned by one person, not a corporation, and I’m worried that we’re not going to be able to reopen because we can’t make the rent.”
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