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Mask mandate not being enforced in Southern Nevada

Updated February 9, 2022 - 5:33 pm

Local governments that are tasked with enforcing the state’s mask mandate are not enforcing the rule, which sources say will be ended by Gov. Steve Sisolak at a virtual news conference on Thursday.

Las Vegas, Clark County, North Las Vegas and Henderson all say they are not issuing citations to businesses that violate the mask mandate. Instead, they are responding to complaints by educating establishments about the rules, which have been in place since the summer.

Clark County is using its business license department to investigate complaints about noncompliance. Throughout December and January, the county received 140 complaints but issued no citations.

The two highest months of complaints in Clark County came in August and September, when officials received a combined 270 complaints.

Enforcement varies, county spokeswoman Stacey Welling said, but could include verbal warnings.

Clark County does not have any staff dedicated solely to responding to mask complaints.

Similar to the county, Las Vegas uses staff from its business licensing division to follow up on complaints. Since Dec. 1, the city had issued no citations for noncompliance with the mask mandate, city spokesman Jace Radke said.

North Las Vegas spokesman Patrick Walker said officials in that city have also issued no citations since the beginning of December. In North Las Vegas, code enforcement officers are tasked with following up on complaints.

“Throughout the pandemic, the City of North Las Vegas has taken a very proactive approach to mask enforcement, with a heavy focus on education,” Walker said in an email. “The City will follow up on any complaints that are received and provide information to businesses to help bring them into compliance. We will continue to work with Clark County and other jurisdictions and adjust plans as needed.”

Henderson, too, has not issued any citations for noncompliance since the beginning of December.

“Rather, we have provided information on the state’s requirements and issued verbal warnings when warranted,” spokeswoman Kathleen Richards said in an email.

In the first month the mask mandate was reinstated, Henderson received six to 10 complaints per week, but that number has dropped to about three complaints per week over the past several months, Richards said.

The city does not have employees who focus solely on enforcing mandate compliance, but like Las Vegas and Clark County, has business license workers respond to complaints in addition to performing their normal duties.

Contact Blake Apgar at bapgar@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5298. Follow @blakeapgar on Twitter. Contact Shea Johnson at sjohnson@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0272. Follow @Shea_LVRJ on Twitter.

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