Nevada to fully reopen by June 1

Las Vegas Strip | File photo

AFTER more than a year of COVID-19 restrictions, Nevada is looking to bounce back and fully reopen its economy by June.

Governor Steve Sisolak this week announced the goal for all counties in the Silver State to reopen at 100% capacity for businesses and activities by June 1.

“Nevada, we are closer to the end than the beginning,” Sisolak said during a press conference on Tuesday, April 13. “We are on our path to recovery one shot at the arm at a time.”

The move comes as the state expanded vaccine eligibility to residents 16 and older earlier this month.

As of Tuesday, 40% of Nevadans 16 and older have received one dose of the vaccine, while 25% are fully vaccinated.

To meet the governor’s target, the statewide social distancing mandate will be removed on May 1 and will be up to the individual counties to enforce their own measures while taking into account local transmission, vaccination and testing needs specific to the communities.

Under the plan, the Gaming Control Board will continue to maintain authority over gaming areas of licensed properties in Nevada and decisions related to mitigation measures in schools will transition to school districts.

However, the state will keep the mask mandate in place.
Sisolak acknowledged that in order to hit the June 1st target, Nevadans will have to continue to get vaccinated and practice safety measures like wearing a mask.

“I wish I could give all Nevadans an exact timeline as to when we can tuck away our masks – but public health officials made it clear that in order to reach our goal of reopening on June 1, we must make sure Nevadans stay masked. It would be irresponsible for me as your Governor to ignore that advice. Additionally, it’s a common sense bargain – if we all continue to wear masks, it will help ensure we can reopen our state by June 1,” he said.

Clark County, which covers Las Vegas, released its reopening plan, which will be discussed at the commissioners meeting on April 20.

The proposed changes, which would take effect on May 1, include:

  • Large gatherings of over 250 people can be approved 120 days in advance if there are less than 1,250 reported local cases per week and if the 14-day average positivity rate is less than 6%.
  • The number of patrons per table can increase from 6 to 10 at food and beverage establishments
  • Self-service buffets can reopen if each station is supervised by an employee, changing service utensils every hour, and hand sanitizer readily available.
  • Pool tables and arcade game areas can be opened in food and beverage establishments.
  • Nightclubs and day clubs are permitted to open under social distancing and no more than 50% capacity.
  • Dance floors allowed to open with social distancing restrictions.
  • Food sampling allowed at retail stores.
  • Tournament plans for youth and adult recreational sports must be submitted for approval.
  • Rules for gaming floors and casinos will be set by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Currently, the capacity is at 50%.

As of Wednesday, April 14, Nevada recorded 251 new cases and three deaths, bringing the total to 309,699 positive cases and 5,359 deaths.

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