Nevada retailers are ready for Nevada to reopen, but the retailers, who have been on the frontlines of this pandemic for more than a year, agree with the Clark County Commission; a measured approach is critical to the successful reopening of Nevada. A measured approach to reopening Nevada’s largest county will ensure the health and safety of our citizens and the security and stability Nevada’s local businesses need to truly recover from this pandemic.
Our top priority when reopening the state must be keeping Nevadans safe. We are well on our way to meeting Nevada’s vaccination targets, but there is still a lot of work to be done.
Vaccinations still appear to be our best path to herd immunity, and it is critical that Nevadans continue to prioritize the full vaccination protocol. Additionally, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s current COVID directive still requires mask use.
The measured approach will allow our local officials to monitor infection rates, making small adjustments as needed, rather than drastic changes due to outbreaks or increasing hospitalizations. Nevada’s local businesses haven’t even begun to recover from the shutdowns more than a year ago, and the potential of any future closures could be the final blow to many businesses. By using a measured approach, there are many steps between open and closed, allowing businesses the opportunity to stay open and within the restrictions outlined.
Finally, the measured approach approved by the Clark County Commission will give our local businesses the structure and guidelines they need to make plans for the future. Throughout the pandemic, businesses have had to make hard decisions when it comes to staffing and purchasing inventory, especially our grocery retailers and restaurants that rely on perishable goods. By giving our local businesses the ability to look ahead in the reopening plan, they will be able to ensure that they are staffed and supplied to meet demand. For the hundreds of thousands of employees who work for local businesses, they will now be able to make plans for when they expect more positions and shifts to come available, especially in our struggling hospitality industry.
The successful reopening of Nevada and Clark County requires a team effort. As much as we want to see all restrictions rolled back, it is critical that we have a plan in place to handle the many unknowns we still face in regard to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick and the entire Clark County Commission have created a sound plan that will let Clark County, the economic engine behind the state of Nevada, not just get back to business as usual but be in position to thrive when the COVID-19 pandemic is finally behind us.
Bryan Wachter is the senior vice president of government and public affairs for the Retail Association of Nevada.