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Temporary staff check for COVID compliance

Boulder City is using temporary part-time code enforcement officers to help ensure that local businesses are complying with current health and safety guidelines for the pandemic.

These employees are not costing the city any extra money.

Currently, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has required people to wear masks and be socially distant when shopping and working as well as having businesses operate at reduced capacity levels in order to reduce the spread of COVID-19.

To ensure businesses are complying with those rules, the city is doing COVID-19 compliance checks.

“The vast majority are being made by the four part-time code enforcement officers,” said Police Chief Tim Shea of the checks. “They are only here for the term of the emergency and came from our volunteer personnel. We did this to take the burden off our patrol officers. The funds to pay for the temporary part-time staff are coming from the funds we would be using for our school crossing guards.”

According to Communications Manager Lisa LaPlante, these checks are not required by the state but rather a goal of the city’s Emergency Operation Center, headed by Fire Department Chief Will Gray and comprised of department directors.

“It’s not a requirement — it’s a goal that the EOC set to demonstrate to the state that the city is engaged with business owners and ensuring compliance with health and safety guidance,” she said in an emailed statement. “The EOC set a goal for around 56 compliance checks a week, which is consistent proportionally with other jurisdictions in Clark County. The checks are done in places that have business licenses.”

Earlier this week, Sisolak extended the 25 percent capacity limit at restaurants through the middle of February. It was set to expire Friday, Jan. 15. In addition, the gathering limit is still set at 50 people or 25 percent capacity, whichever number is lower. Private gatherings are still set at 10 people “from no more than two households.”

Contact reporter Celia Shortt Goodyear at cgoodyear@bouldercityreview.com or at 702-586-9401. Follow her on Twitter @csgoodyear.

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