Casinos, like the entire hotel industry, have been particularly hard hit by the Covid-19 pandemic. Their enclosed spaces and poor ventilation have forced them to remain closed for a long period of time, until they were allowed to open at a much reduced capacity.
However, Nevada’s ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ plan remains on schedule and its governor, Steve Sisolak, signed a new measure on Friday that eases state restrictions because of the coronavirus.
Capacity for gambling halls and other establishments will increase from 35 to 50 percent on Monday, as the state had only 222 new cases with only one new death on Sunday, according to state health data.
But most strikingly, the governor’s announcement on Friday acted as a rallying cry for thousands of citizens who, despite knowing the measures did not take effect until Monday, rushed to the city’s various casinos, leaving images of crowds packed into small spaces.
Until now, the casinos had operated at a limited 25 per cent capacity from November until 15 February, when they were allowed to open at 35 per cent capacity. In addition, the capacity increase scheduled for Monday includes gyms and other fitness establishments, arcades, racetracks, bowling alleys, miniature golf, billiard halls, and theme and amusement parks.
Finally, “the positivity rate has steadily declined, but is still above the WHO-recommended 5 per cent threshold for reopening,” Sisolak said in the executive order.
In total, the state has counted 299,287 cases with 5,118 deaths. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 989,342 doses of the vaccine have been administered.