RENO, Nev. (AP) — Nevada’s governor and attorney general are denouncing resolutions approved by four rural counties that attempt to defy state restrictions intended to slow the spread of COVID-19 statewide.

Gov. Steve Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford said Friday the resolutions passed by Lyon, White Pine, Eureka and Elko Counties have no force of law and cannot override the governor’s emergency directives

“Resolutions like this are mere statements and nothing more,” the two Democrats said in a joint statement. They said the directives have been issued under state law and upheld in courts several times.

“We recognize the tolls this pandemic is taking on all Nevadans,” they said. “We are all tired of this virus. But every day, and in rural counties, Nevadans die due to COVID-19.“

Sisolak and Ford said they are determined to continue working with local elected officials to protect Nevada residents and support their economy.

“That said, we believe resolutions like those passed in some of the rural counties are counterproductive and confusing to Nevadans,” they said. “Far from helping, resolutions like this send mixed messages to their residents and businesses — implying that they need not comply with emergency directives when, in fact, they must.”


This story was first published on January 29, 2021. It was updated on February 1, 2021 to correct that four counties passed resolutions defying state COVID-19 rules, not five.