Democrats in Nevada called for a "full public mask mandate" throughout the state Thursday after a locality mandated face coverings for all government employees working in indoor spaces.
Officials in Clark County, which encompasses Las Vegas, unanimously moved to require masks for all government workers, regardless of vaccination status, Tuesday. The proposal will not apply to tourists, casinos, or any other private entity.
"Though it may have seemed we were approaching the end of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is clear now that we rushed to a return to normalcy, resulting in an increase in coronavirus cases and virus variants, both in vaccinated and unvaccinated people," said Nevada Democratic Party Chairwoman Judith Whitmer in a statement. "Now is not the time to become complacent, and I am pleased that the Clark County Commissioners are taking action once again to curb the spread of this deadly virus."
"However this mask mandate still leaves room for further action, as it only applies to workers on the job. ... We encourage the Clark County Commissioners and those in power across the state to re-implement a full public mask mandate in order to fully protect Nevadans," she added.
Whitmer encouraged "more actions" in addition to a mask mandate, including improving the state's vaccination rate through outreach.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, backed Clark County's decision, though he did not make remarks regarding state policies.
“I support the Clark County Commission for using their local authority to issue this mitigation measure amid significant community transmission in Southern Nevada and as we continue our joint effort to increase access and confidence in the COVID-19 vaccines,” he said Tuesday in a statement. “State agencies and leaders are working every day with my Office in joint unity with local leaders and health districts to combat recent increases. The State remains completely committed to provide every resource and support available to all of our counties as we see a rise in cases among the unvaccinated, driven by the Delta variant."
States and cities have begun recommending indoor masking without regard for vaccination status as case numbers climb. On Thursday, Philadelphia's acting Health Commissioner Dr. Cheryl Bettigole implored "all" residents to engage in "public" wearing of face coverings.
"It's time for all of us to do what we need to do to protect our city's kids," she said. "That means getting fully vaccinated if you haven't yet, and it means all of us going back to wearing masks in public. Kids under 12 cannot yet be vaccinated. They need you to step up."
In Kentucky on Monday, Democratic Gov. Andy Beshear recommended all residents, regardless of vaccination status, wear masks indoors, as he cited the rise in the delta COVID-19 variant. He encouraged people "at higher risk from COVID-19 due to pre-existing conditions" to wear face coverings.
While some are advising residents to change their behavior, others are ordering it. In Los Angeles County, authorities reimposed the area's indoor mask mandate without regard for whether or not one received the vaccine.
By contrast, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has refused to order a new mask mandate. The Republican cited natural immunity and vaccinations as reasons for his decision.
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Original Author: Jake Dima
Original Location: Nevada Democrats call for full mask mandate