Feb 10, 2022 - Health

Nevada governor rescinds indoor mask mandate

 Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaking in Dry Lake Valley, Nevada, in June 2021.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak speaking in Dry Lake Valley, Nevada, in June 2021. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on Thursday rescinded the state's mask mandate in public places, including schools, effective immediately.

Why it matters: Nevada now joins several other Democrat-controlled states that have also ended their mask requirements and other restrictions meant to lower the spread of COVID-19 this week.

  • Nevada's mask mandate will still be in place in health care facilities, on public and school buses and in airports, which are regulated by the federal government.
  • Sisolak, who cited a "rapid" decline in cases and falling hospitalizations, said school districts and businesses can now set their own masking policies and encouraged organizations to put such policies in place.

By the numbers: Sisolak said the state is currently averaging 1,280 cases per day, well below the number of cases it was reporting when case number peaked in mid-January because of the Omicron variant of the virus.

  • He added that around 800 people were hospitalized because of the virus in Nevada on Wednesday.

What they're saying: "We are at this point now because as Nevadans we always look out for one another — that’s our Battle Born spirit and that’s the Nevada way," Sisolak said in announcing the end of the mask mandate.

The big picture: Sisolak, who is up for re-election in the swing state this year, has faced pressure from business leaders and organizations to loosen the state's mask mandate, AP reports.

  • Though Biden administration officials have said that pandemic restrictions could end "soon," the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention still recommend wearing a mask indoors in communities with high levels of transmissibility.

Go deeper: Blue states move to drop mask mandates

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