Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has issued a policy reversal requiring masks in all of Nevada’s public indoor spaces. Effective Friday, June 26, visitors to any public space must wear a mask, including in all Las Vegas and Reno casino properties.
Prior to the order, only casino staff were required to wear masks. Many casinos encouraged patrons to don masks, even handing them out free of charge. Still, guests only sporadically adhered to the guidelines. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that approximately half of casino visitors wore masks during initial reopenings. Casinos in Nevada began to reopen earlier this month.
Sisolak’s order follows a rise in COVID-19 cases in Nevada. The state’s Department of Health and Human Services logged 365 new cases within a 24 hour period earlier this week, according to Deadline.
Casino Safety Measures
Before Sisolak’s policy change, casinos still took significant measures to provide a safe and healthy gaming environment for patrons.
Casino employees are required to wear masks, but the measures don’t end there. Seats at table games are limited based on capacity. Some properties physically remove excess chairs to limit player numbers.
Plexiglass shields stand between dealers and players in many cases, and some games have been altered to minimize player contact with cards and chips. Casino operators also enforce social distancing on slot banks by removing chairs or shutting down every other machine.
Similar Mandate In California
One state over, California has seen an uptick in COVID-19 cases following phased reopenings. Gov. Gavin Newsom took swift action in response. Californians must now wear protective masks in all public and high-risk areas. Public transportation, stores, and other high-traffic places now mandate masks. The requirement extends to California’s cardrooms and casinos.
California’s efforts to kickstart a lagging economy following months of shutdowns were met with many of the state’s residents choosing not to wear masks.