Casinos Impose Stricter Rules After Vegas Reopening Spike—But Won’t Mandate Face Masks

Casinos Impose Stricter Rules After Vegas Reopening Spike—But Won’t Mandate Face Masks


TOPLINE

A record spike in coronavirus cases two weeks after Las Vegas’s reopening has prompted Nevada to introduce a number of new safety procedures for Sin City casinos—though notably absent is a face mask mandate which health officials say could curb infections but the state has resisted.

KEY FACTS

The new health and safety precautions, introduced by the Nevada Gaming Control Board Wednesday evening, include a requirement that players wear masks at gaming tables without plexiglass partitions.

The rules also state that casinos must offer all guests masks upon entry and put up signs to make this well-known. 

Notably, these updated rules fall short of mandating guests to wear masks at all times inside the casinos, which national and local health authorities say could prevent a further influx of new cases in the state. 

Nevada reported its highest daily increase of 379 new cases on Tuesday, the majority of which came from Clark County, where Las Vegas is located.

The single-day records for Nevada and Clark County came two weeks after the June 4 reopening of Las Vegas which, despite capacity regulations, reportedly lacked social distancing precautions and wide face mask usage.  

A viral video posted to Twitter by Los Angeles Times columnist Arash Markazi shows the interior of a packed casino the day after reopening where very few people are wearing face-covering. 

key background

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has hit pause on Phase 3 of reopening as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to spike. Earlier in the week, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell warned that places like Nevada, where employment depends on large numbers of people congregating, will particularly struggle to recover from the virus. 

key quote

“Social distancing was not where we wanted it to be,” said Gaming Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Douglass Morgan, then echoing a message from Gov. Sisolak: “We still want the casinos to strongly encourage patrons to wear masks.” 

further reading

“Vegas Sees Record Spike In Coronavirus Cases Two Weeks After Casinos Reopen” (Forbes)

“Las Vegas Reopened. People Showed Up” (CNN)

“Experts fear ‘tsunami’ of new coronavirus cases in Nevada” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)





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