Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak ended the state’s mask mandate Thursday ahead of a tight gubernatorial race.
The Democrat justified his policy change in a lengthy Twitter thread, noting that daily COVID-19 cases have dropped to 1,280, hospitalizations have declined and vaccines have been widely distributed among residents. Sisolak will run for reelection in a highly-competitive November race The Cook Political Report called a “toss-up.”
To the Nevadans and travelers that have done the right thing, gotten vaccinated, stayed diligent, and protected each other for the last two years – from the bottom of my heart, I thank you.
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) February 10, 2022
Sisolak had come under fire in recent months over relaxing restrictions, including mask mandates, according to ABC News.
He currently faces a field of strong Republican challengers, including Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, according to The Nevada Independent. In a Jan. 19-26 poll Sisolak held a 4.4 point lead over Lombardo, just within the survey’s 3.9% margin of error.
Lombardo has been critical of mask mandates, but showed support for mandating vaccines for police department employees, the Independent reported.
Nevada has been in a state of emergency since July 2021, requiring masks indoors in public spaces where transmission rates were high, ABC reported.
Schools in the state’s two largest counties require all students to wear masks, ABC reported. Schools, employers and other organizations will still be able to impose mask mandates, according to Sisolak.
The governor’s office did not respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comment.