By Dave Maxwell


County commissioners are concerned that people not wearing masks in public places in Mineral County will cause Governor Sisolak to reinstate Phase I of the state shutdown.

After an increased number of COVID-19 cases reported statewide, as well as in Cark County in mid-July, Sisolak mandated that everyone in a public space must wear a mask or face covering and should wear one outdoors where social distancing is difficult. When casinos reopened on June 4, the state only required employees to wear masks or face coverings.

As of Tuesday in Mineral County, there have been a total of 10 reported cases of coronavirus and six recoveries.

At the commission meeting July 15, commissioners Christina Hoferer and Garth Price, expressed their thoughts that masks should be worn as the governor has said. Chris Hegg was absent.

Neither one spoke about their personal opinion regarding the order, but felt that it should be observed if the county does not want to be pushed back to Phase I.

KTNV-TV in Las Vegas reported on July 10 that bars in select Nevada counties will return to Phase 1 and have to close as COVID-19 cases in the state are on the rise.

Restaurants with bar areas will have to close the bar area and no groups larger than 6 people can be together at one time inside.

However, Mineral County was not on the list of closures at this time, but will it be later?

Pools, water parks, and gyms are also being monitored at this time and Sisolak said they too could return to Phase 1 if necessary.

As of now, besides bars, Nevada will remain in Phase 2 of reopening with no date set for any further openings.

In announcing the mask mandate, Gov. Sisolak said businesses that fail to meet requirements in the directive will face violations, including heavy fines and threats of losing their business license or operation certificates, from local licensing agencies, regulatory authorities, and Nevada OSHA.

Can local police handle all such possible violations if they occur, commissioners Hoferer and Price did not think so, and thought it would be up to the local businesses to enforce it themselves.

Commissioners said they expected to revisit the item again, but did not put a date down as to just when.