After Governor Sisolak ordered the closure of all schools in Nevada on March 15, 2020, there was much concern in the Southern Nevada community over how long the closures would remain in effect and how students would receive a quality education while staying at home. Vegas PBS created over-the-air programming to meet the state’s curriculum standards. Soon, Vegas PBS began airing a twelve-hour block of curriculum-based programming Mondays through Fridays throughout the rest of the academic year on our main channel.
Through our programming and as the most trusted media brand, we provided the public with reliable and up-to-date information about COVID-19. PBS NewsHour, Frontline and our own Nevada Week produced substantial content on COVID-19. Our production services helped produce spots for local nonprofits, and we aired 150 spots a week on available food resources, the importance of hand washing and providers of legal, financial and medical aid. On our website, vegaspbs.org/covid-19 is a page dedicated to housing information and resources for the community about the pandemic, including guidance for parents on how to talk to their children about COVID-19.
Due to Southern Nevada’s reliance on hospitality, many people in our community found themselves unemployed when Las Vegas casinos closed. Already a provider of several workforce training and online certification courses, we amplified our efforts in this area. Displaced workers could safely learn new skills online while social distancing at home then earn their certifications at our computer lab, where we modified our capacity and procedures to minimize the spread of COVID-19.