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I-Team: Sisolak calls hospital staffing 'critical issue,' touches on other pandemic problems |

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I-Team: Sisolak calls hospital staffing 'critical issue,' touches on other pandemic problems

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Empty store shelves, a labor shortage and packed hospitals.

The 8 News Now I-Team talked with Gov. Steve Sisolak about what's unfolding in our state right now.

One of the most pressing issues: packed hospitals without enough workers. According to the governor, part of the solution: students may soon be caring for patients.

“The staffing is a crucial issue,” Sisolak said.

Sisolak says hospital staffing has been an issue throughout the pandemic, and now the state is turning to a different approach.

“We're working with the nurses -- the colleges, the nursing programs -- to try to get those students into the hospitals into the settings quicker and use the skills that they've learned,” he said. “But that being said, nurses are getting burned out.”

  • (KLAS)
  • (KLAS)
  • (KLAS)

However, the governor continues to say additional mitigation measures will not be taken to avoid another economic hit. Conventions are taking place, although many -- like CES -- have downsized.

People are expressing concerns about a lack of enforcement of the current mask mandate. State resources have shifted from contact tracing to vaccination and testing.

Vanessa Murphy:  “Does Nevada have a greater responsibility though for enforcement since we are a major tourist destination? People come here, if they catch the virus, bring it back home ...

Governor Sisolak: Well, we all have a responsibility to our fellow human beings as far as I'm concerned. … And yes, we do whatever we can. We offer vaccines, you don't have to be a resident here to get a vaccine.  We've vaccinated a lot of out-of-state people in Nevada.  We test out-of-state people if they're here and then we can make sure they feel comfortable before they head back home if in fact they do contract or come down with symptoms when they're here in Las Vegas or in Nevada.

On the labor shortage, Sisolak says he believes employers are trying to attract workers, even by raising wages. But some people are still hesitant to work because of COVID-19. He calls this a job seekers' market.

And if you've visited some supermarkets or drug stores lately, you've probably seen some empty store shelves. The governor says he's taken steps like the planned widening of Interstate 15 at the Nevada - California border -- but it is really more of a federal issue.

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