By Jackie Valley/The Nevada Independent

Nevadans can shed their face masks today, as the state lifts its mandate days ahead of an expected busy Super Bowl weekend in Las Vegas.

The shift — announced by Gov.  during a Thursday morning press conference — follows suit with other Democrat-led states easing pandemic mitigation measures amid a nationwide decline in COVID-19 cases.

In Nevada, the seven-day average of new cases reported as of Wednesday was 1,574 per day, down from the Omicron wave peak of roughly 6,300 new cases per day in mid-January. Sisolak also noted that there are 800 fewer people hospitalized with COVID in Nevada than at the Omicron peak, and that fewer than one-tenth of a percent of Nevadans required critical care hospitalization on any given day.

The termination of the mask mandate is effective immediately, Sisolak said, though some places serving vulnerable populations, such as hospitals and long-term care facilities, may still ask people to wear face coverings.

The governor also announced that masks will no longer be required at schools starting Friday, giving families time to discuss the change. He noted that school districts need to work with their local health agencies to have plans for if and when COVID-19 outbreaks occur.

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