The Road to Reopening Our Economy

Dear Constituents, Colleagues and Supporters,

Over the past few weeks I have heard from countless individuals frustrated they cannot get unemployment assistance after forced layoffs due to COVID-19 . I have talked to small business owners of restaurants, bars and retail along with hairdressers and nail technicians unable to serve their customers and bring in revenues to keep their businesses afloat. Some individuals and employers have been successful in accessing the relief offered through the state office of DETR and the Federal CARES Act , Paycheck Protection Program or SBA Disaster Loans . Others have been lost in a flurry of bureaucracy and confusion.
I have heard the frustrations and have been working with our constituent services department of the Legislative Counsel Bureau to follow up on each case.
Everyone, however, is asking the same question: “When can we safely reopen our economy and make our way back to living our lives out in the open again?”
This is not just a Nevada question. It is one leaders, medical professionals, scientists, educators, students, economists and citizens are asking all around the globe where the Coronavirus has spread.
For weeks teams of researchers have built blueprints for how we can take a phased approach to safely reopen our economy, get back to work and resume our lives with certain precautions in place to reduce the rate of infections, deaths and the burden on our healthcare system.

  • On March 25th, the Harvard School of Ethics, relying on the guidance of CDC pandemic experts, released a White Paper titled, “When Can We Go Out?” making the case for “Mobilize and Transition”, a proposal to protect the economy, society, liberty, justice, and health against the COVID-19 threat simultaneously. They propose a middle ground between “Freeze in Place” and “Surrender”.
  • On March 28th, the American Enterprise Institute, along with researchers from Johns Hopkins University, published the Roadmap to Reopening, a 4-phase plan based on science, sound business practice and common sense.
  • On April 16th, the White House revealed the guidelines for “Opening Up America Again” with a similar 4-phase approach that has gained consensus across medical, scientific, economic and business fields.
  • Last night, Governor Sisolak announced the beginnings of a framework to reopen Nevada with few details and no timelines but following similar approaches to models others have provided.

Many of you have asked where I stand on the matter.
Based on the research and dialogue with my colleagues, here are the measures we should consider as we work to reopen our state: 

  1. A phased reopening based on regional declines in new cases and deaths.
  2. Increased capacity for testing and contact tracing to continue flattening the curve.
  3. Establishment of safety protocols based on industry input and evidence-based best practices.
  4. Expansion of curbside pickup and delivery options for local businesses following strict safety standards.
  5. Regional accountability and enforcement.
  6. Creation of contingency plans for setbacks or another wave. 
  7. Ongoing community engagement and education.
  8. Continued support for impacted businesses and individuals to help bridge the economic gap created by the shutdown.
  9. Sustained support for infected and exposed individuals who are in quarantine.
  10. Prioritized public-private partnerships to streamline processes and expedite delivery of PPE and testing resources.

COVID-19 has brought two crises upon us. One threatens the health and, for some, the lives of our citizens, neighbors, and loved ones. The other threatens our jobs, businesses, and way of doing life. Suffering is real for those impacted by each crisis. It is necessary and right to acknowledge both. I will continue to work with my colleagues on efforts toward prevention now AND toward the road back to recovery as soon as prudently possible. 
In the meantime, I have reached out to the director of Business and Industry to offer my perspective from a legislative and business standpoint as well as the general collective perspective of my constituents. I appreciate hearing from you on your thoughts, questions and recommendations as we lean in together to get through this and on to a better tomorrow.
In Service,
Jill TollesAssembly District 25

Resource Links:

For up to date information at the Nevada state level on COVID-19, please go to https://nvhealthresponse.nv.gov/ .
For Washoe County Regional Information go to: https://covid19washoe.com/
For more information on Unemployment Insurance and the Federal CARES Act , go to: https://detr.nv.gov/Page/COVID-19_(Coronavirus)_Information_for_Claimants_and_Employers?fbclid=IwAR1OJ9MEP99s-jRmvJuL_OYAzYk6DU8O9SgzhEF_-YHoMJTDY7YSIPvk8Io
To file an Unemployment Insurance claim, go to: http://ui.nv.gov/css.html
To apply for a Small Business Disaster Loan , visit: https://disasterloan.sba.gov/ela/Information/ApplyOnline
For information and resources for businesses and employees , please review the following toolkit provided by the US Chamber of Commerce: https://www.uschamber.com/coronavirus-response-toolkit
To submit information to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development on the impact to your business, go to: https://www.diversifynevada.com/small-business-administration-sba-disaster-assistance-in-response-to-the-coronavirus/
To keep track of current testing results across our state go to the newly formed NV COVID Dashboard: https://app.powerbigov.us/view?r=eyJrIjoiMjA2ZThiOWUtM2FlNS00MGY5LWFmYjUtNmQwNTQ3Nzg5N2I2IiwidCI6ImU0YTM0MGU2LWI4OWUtNGU2OC04ZWFhLTE1NDRkMjcwMzk4MCJ9

IMPORTANT:  

Please continue to order take-out or delivery from our local restaurants! We can all help in small ways to keep our local economy going through this. Check out the restaurants in town that are open for business: https://www.yelp.com/collection/3CF1mhXkf2smTjVaJYLBKA?utm_content=Collections&utm_source=ishare

We can get through this together… Stay healthy and safe! – Jill

#StaySafeStayOpen