LAS VEGAS –  As COVID-19 cases surge throughout the Silver State, 37 bars in southern Nevada filed a lawsuit to stop Gov. Steve Sisolak’s shutdown order targeting drinking establishments.

“Despite overwhelming evidence that the vast majority of bars and taverns are in compliance with the reopening mandates pertaining to social distancing and face coverings, Gov. Sisolak has singled out this particular group,” wrote lawyers from Bailey-Kennedy, the firm representing the plaintiffs. 

Sisolak’s office declined to comment on the lawsuit.

Under the governor’s latest order, bars in seven counties returned to Phase 1 restrictions – meaning those without food closed except for curbside pickup. 

Nevada’s bars are closing again because of COVID-19 surge: Are casinos next? Here’s what we know

The lawsuit says state checks showed 80% compliance with social distancing orders in bars July 3. Though 39 businesses were cited for noncompliance from June 26 to July 10, none of those businesses served alcohol.

“Notably,” the lawsuit said, “[the order] does not close home improvement stores, water parks, casino floors, or casino pools, or other businesses found to have similar (or more serious) compliance issues.”

Read the full lawsuit here:

20.07.12 Complaint by Reno Gazette Journal on Scribd

The lawsuit was filed two days before state health officials reported 1,021 new COVID-19 cases in Clark County on Monday – the most recorded in a single day.

The number of known cases in Clark County – home of the Las Vegas Strip – totals 24,824, according to the Nevada Health Alliance dashboard.

The seven-day positivity rate in Clark County was 19.7% July 12, the last day for which data was available. The WHO recommends a net positivity rate of 5% to safely reopen businesses.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported 15 additional deaths. A total of 498 people have died from the contagious respiratory illness in Clark County.

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The number of Nevadans who have tested positive for COVID-19 increased to 29,619 on Monday. The death toll was 612 statewide as of Wednesday.

Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here

This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: COVID-19: Las Vegas bars sue Nevada for shutting down businesses

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