Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) announced Thursday that Nevada would rescind its statewide mask mandate “effective immediately” — joining a slew of other states dropping pandemic restrictions aimed at curbing the spread of the coronavirus.
Face coverings, regardless of a person’s vaccination status, will not be required in public places such as casinos or in jails and correctional facilities, Sisolak said. However in other locations — including hospitals, nursing homes and airports — “Nevadans and visitors may still be asked to wear a mask,” he said. The same is true for people traveling on airplanes, buses and other public transportation.
Businesses and school districts, Sisolak said, will be able to institute their own policies. While the statewide mandate was lifted immediately, the governor said it would lift for schools on Friday morning.
Elsewhere, Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan (R) on Thursday called on the State Board of Education to end to the state’s mask mandate for public schools. In Virginia, the state Senate voted Wednesday to make mask-wearing optional in K-12 schools starting July 1.
Nevada has become part of a group of states, ranging from California to New York, ending restrictions as covid-19 infections and hospitalizations continue to plunge across the country. Since a Jan. 14 peak of 807,897 seven-day average, cases have markedly decreased — with a reported weekly average of 229,706 infections on Thursday, The Washington Post’s coronavirus tracker shows.
Still, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends indoor mask-wearing in places of “substantial or high transmission” — or those with over 50 new cases per 100,000 people in week. As of Thursday, that includes all 50 states and territories, except for the Marshall Islands.
“I want to be clear: The emergency is not over. The pandemic is not over,” Sisolak said Thursday. “We’re still getting far too many cases, far too many hospitalizations and far too many deaths.”