The mask mandate is back in Las Vegas thanks to the explosion of new cases of the COVID-19 Delta variant across the country. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on Friday, July 30 all employees, visitors, and hotel guests inside of Nevada casinos in certain counties with high transmission rates, including Clark County that encompasses Las Vegas, must properly wear a face-covering once again regardless of vaccination status.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors must wear a mask inside of a casino unless eating, drinking or smoking. At this time, the face covering requirements are for indoor activities only. While show and club performers may go maskless, guests must wear a mask while attending these indoor events.
Following new guidance from the CDC
This updated face-covering directive from the Nevada Gaming Control Board and NV Governor Steve Sisolak follows new guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) earlier this week. Wearing a face covering inside of a casino was most recently just a recommendation for casino guests, but it is required as of July 30.
The new Delta variation of COVID-19 is spreading quickly in Las Vegas around the country. This new variant of COVID-19 is more contagious than the original strain which closed Las Vegas casinos in 2020. The Delta variant of COVID-19 now accounts for 80% of infections. Some cities have even issued warnings against traveling to Las Vegas.
There is no timeframe on this mandate to wear a mask inside of casinos. According to the CDC, Las Vegas has among the highest rates of cases and hospitalizations from COVID-19 in the US. All visitors should expect the mask mandate to remain intact until Clark County is no longer considered a location that is high-risk for transmission of the Delta Variant of COVID-19. (Official data for any US county can be found here.)
Las Vegas casino operators stepping up
Sin City has enjoyed a substantial and even record-breaking summer vacation season, as COVID numbers plummeted and visitors felt it was at least moderately safe to travel again. Shiny new casinos, incentives and the general buzz of shows, pool clubs and restaurants reopening have fueled a stream of tourists both via car and plane. Though many precautions have remained – such as hand sanitizer stations, pre-packaged room service, cashless gaming, and more – the city is again re-ramping up safety procedures so that guests feel comfortable.
MGM Resorts International CEO Bill Hornbuckle is also pushing hard to make sure its employees aren’t bringing COVID-19 to work. While not mandating all employees get vaccinated, the casino operator is asking all employees to get immunized against COVID-19. If an MGM Resorts employee chooses not to get the COVID-19 vaccine, they will have to pay for regular testing. If an employee tests positive or comes in close contact with someone with COVID-19 they will not be paid while being quarantined.
MGM Resorts is the first casino corporation in Las Vegas to try and help protect employees and guests from COVID-19 in such an aggressive manner. It won’t be a surprise to see other casino operators follow MGM Resorts or other corporations like Google that are being even more strict with vaccine requirements.
Casinos are also hosting vaccination events to help make it easier on the public. Two weeks ago Immunize Nevada and MGM Resorts partnered for a COVID-19 vaccine clinic at Park MGM. Last week, Caesars held an event at The Linq. Circa will host a similar event next week in downtown Las Vegas.