Sisolak bans gatherings of 10 or more
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Sisolak bans gatherings of 10 or more

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LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada's governor on Tuesday night issued an emergency order banning gatherings of more than 10 people in the state indoors or outdoors, a more aggressive move to try to stop the spread of the coronavrius.

Steve Sisolak said the order does not apply to private homes or the homeless, but includes places like social clubs, parks, libraries and sports fields.

The order comes a week after the governor shut down the famous casinos of Las Vegas and ordered all but essential businesses like grocery stores and pharmacies to close. The governor's new order issued Tuesday banning group gatherings does not apply to businesses that have been deemed essential and remain open.

“There are some who still don't understand the severity of the issue we're facing and they continue to gather in groups and congregate,” Sisolak said in a news conference streamed online.

The same day, health officials attributed two more deaths the Las Vegas area to the COVID-19 respiratory illness, bringing the death toll in Nevada to six. Health officials have said most patients exhibit mild or moderate fever and cough. The vast majority recover. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, severe symptoms including pneumonia can occur.

Sisolak's new order calls for people violating the directive and ignoring police warnings to be charged with at least a misdemeanor crime of resisting a police officer or being a public nuisance. It remains in effect until April 16.

In other Nevada coronavirus news:

— Sisolak signed an emergency order earlier Tuesday barring the use of anti-malaria drugs for someone who has the coronavirus. But Sisolak's order does not apply to patients who are hospitalized with coronavirus. The order restricting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine came after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment and falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the use of chloroquine to treat patients infected with coronavirus. Sisolak said in a statement that there’s no consensus among experts or Nevada doctors that the drugs can treat people with COVID-19.

— Federal officials said a security screener at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas tested positive for the coronavirus, and that co-workers were alerted. The Transportation Security Administration said the officer last worked 4 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. on March 12 at a checkpoint in Terminal 3, which serves primarily international flights. KVVU-TV reported the TSA said the officer was quarantined at home and that co-workers were notified to take appropriate precautions.

Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Lorie Dankers said the worker will not be identified and that travelers who think they may have come in contact with the officer and are concerned about their health should contact their medical provider. A TSA map shows at least 29 TSA workers have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past 14 days at airports across the nation.

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