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Nevada State AFL-CIO: Masks and Vaccines Protects Union Lives and Livelihoods

Shelbie Swartz
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At 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30, 2021, the state of Nevada will once again require masks for all vaccinated and unvaccinated people in indoor settings in counties with high transmission rates of COVID-19. This includes Carson, Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Washoe, and White Pine Counties. 

Rusty McAllister, the Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Nevada State AFL-CIO, released the following statement in support of the mandate:

“Returning to mandatory masking in Nevada, as COVID-19 continues to spread, will protect both the lives AND the livelihoods of many working Nevadans and union members. We commend Governor Sisolak for working to keep Nevadans and our visitors safe while still allowing our state to stay open for business and our union members to stay on the job. These necessary measures will ensure that our state and our workers do not suffer either from contracting COVID-19 or from economic distress in another wave of furloughs and lay-offs.

While millions of Nevadans, including many union members, are getting vaccinated, there are still many who live in or visit our state who have not gotten their shot. Vaccines are effective and important, and are another layer of protection that also includes strong health and safety protections on the job that prevent workers from being exposed to COVID-19. Vaccinations are key to the economic recovery of our state and the job security of our working families.

Getting vaccinated protects your family, friends and co-workers, particularly the most vulnerable people who are at increased risk for severe illness. Getting vaccinated is not a political act—it is an act of support and solidarity with our union brothers and sisters, as they protect the individual and those around them from contracting and spreading COVID-19.  We’re all in this together to make sure our state stays open and our workers can stay safe both from COVID-19 and from catastrophic job losses —we’re all in this together to get vaccinated.

This new mask mandate comes as the Delta variant now accounts for the majority of new cases. The Delta variant has shown to be much more contagious and spreads more than twice as easily from one person to another, compared with earlier strains.

Private entities and organizations may have mask policies that are more restrictive than the CDC or county guidance. Employees should consult with their employers regarding workplace COVID-19 safety protocols.