Easter reopening of nonessential businesses in Nevada premature says governor’s medical adviser

A crew of Reno firefighters stopped into the Brewer's Cabinet in Midtown Reno on March 17, 2020 for a few take-out meals. Restaurants are closed except for delivery or curbside pickup across the state of Nevada - image - Brian Bahouth

Today during a virtual press conference on Facebook, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and one of his medical advisers answered questions about the novel coronavirus gleaned from queries sent to the governor’s office and a few questions from the press.

Governor Sisolak read the questions to Dr. Shadaba Asad, the Director of Infectious Disease at UMC Las Vegas. Topics ranged from transmission details to the availability and use of personal protective equipment among medical professionals.

On March 24, President Donald Trump said he wants the nation “opened up and raring to go by Easter.”

As of this writing, according to data available on the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services COVID-19 Dashboard, 535 people in Nevada have tested positive for COVID-19 with 10 deaths statewide.

During press questions, Richard Chavez of KOLO Television in Reno asked though the governor if reopening nonessential businesses by Easter, April 12 was realistic.

Governor Sisolak’s nonessential business closure order is in effect until April 16 when, according to the Governor, there will be a reassessment of the closure order. Chavez’s question asked about the potential for confusion between the Governor’s directive and the President’s goal of an Easter reopening.

“My date does go longer than the President does,” Governor Sisolak said.  “I am relying on medical advice and facts. That’s why I’m proud to have doctors with me here today. We’re not basing this on hopes or emotions or politics. It will strictly be based on medical decisions, medical guidance, and statistics.”

Dr. Shadaba Asad, the Director of Infectious Disease at UMC Las Vegas said it is too early to predict an Easter reopening of nonessential businesses.

“I honestly couldn’t have stated it better than the governor. This is not something that is based on emotions, politics. I liked how Dr. Anthony Fauci answered this question I think a day or so ago when he was asked the same thing. I think he stated something to the effect that the virus decides when businesses reopen.

“So I think it’s one of those things that has to be reevaluated on a day to day, week by week basis, and that’s the only way we can come up with a date when we can reopen. I think it would be very premature at this stage to come up with a date when we can reopen everything,” Dr. Asad said.