Nevada Governor limits outdoor recreation to gatherings of 10 or fewer

A softball field at Idyllwild Park in Reno - image - The Sierra Nevada Ally

Earlier today, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive that prohibits gatherings larger than 10 people. With this declaration of emergency, the Governor ratcheted up the pressure on people to maintain safe social distancing protocols.

“I’m so proud that the vast majority of Nevadans are taking this seriously by practicing good social distancing and staying at home,” the Governor said during a live virtual press conference on Facebook today. “But, unfortunately, there are some who still don’t understand the severity of the issue we are facing, and they continue to gather in groups and congregate — further increasing the risk of exposure in our communities. While I don’t believe they intend to harm their neighbors, the reality is we need the tools to address those circumstances where people are engaged in reckless action that endangers the public health of our state.

“That’s why, today, I signed an emergency directive prohibiting the general public from gathering in groups of ten or more in any indoor or outdoor public space. This includes, but is not limited to: social clubs, parks, libraries, parking lots, sports fields, and more. To be clear, this does not mean your home. This is not to prevent your household members from going for a walk. If you live inside together, you can be outside together.”

The primary provision of the emergency order is focused on the size of gatherings:

The Nevada general public shall not gather in groups of ten or more in any indoor or outdoor area, whether publicly owned or privately owned where the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied, whether by payment of money or not, including without limitation, parks, basketball courts, volleyball courts, baseball field, football fields, rivers, lakes, beaches, streets, convention centers, libraries, parking lots, and private clubs. This provision shall not be construed to apply to the gathering of persons living within the same household, or persons working at or patronizing Essential Licensed business or providing essential services to the public.

The declaration asks that all citizens maintain six feet of space between each other at all times. The directive authorizes subsidiary forms of government to enforce its provisions.

Local governments shall limit the Nevada general public’s use of recreational equipment, including without limitation, playground equipment, basketball courts, baseball fields, beaches, or football fields, in a manner that causes the congregation of ten or more persons in a manner contrary to the best COVID-19 disease mitigation social distancing practices.

The directive will remain in place until April 16. Those who violate the directive’s provisions are subject to fines and other penalties, though the Governor said he has instructed law enforcement to first issue warnings.