LAS VEGAS — This tourism and entertainment capital reached a new milestone this week, as major casinos along The Strip flipped to full capacity without social distancing.
Based on workforce vaccination rates at Las Vegas’ biggest properties, the Nevada Gaming Control Board granted waivers to flip casino floors to full capacity.
Clark County lawmakers with jurisdiction over Las Vegas-area businesses approved plans to allow 100% occupancy at non-casino places once 60% of eligible county residents get a vaccine shot. As of Wednesday, the figure was 47%.
But what does that mean for tourists planning trips here soon? Here’s what to know.
What Las Vegas casinos are full capacity?
- Bellagio Resort & Casino
- ARIA Resort & Casino
- MGM Grand Hotel & Casino
- Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
- Park MGM
- The Mirage Hotel & Casino
- New York-New York Hotel & Casino
- Luxor Hotel and Casino
- Excalibur Hotel & Casino
- Bally’s Las Vegas
- Caesars Palace Las Vegas
- The Cromwell
- Flamingo Las Vegas
- Harrah’s Las Vegas
- The LINQ Hotel + Experience
- Paris Las Vegas
- Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino
- Rio All-Suite Hotel & Casino
- Palace Station
- Boulder Station
- Sunset Station
- Santa Fe Station
- Green Valley Ranch
- Red Rock Resort
The Strat, Cosmopolitan and Silverton have also opened gaming floors 100%.
Is social distancing still enforced?
Depends where you are.
Social distancing is no longer required on the gaming floor, but those restrictions are still active at restaurants, pools and other non-gaming areas and activities.
Are masks still required?
In April, Gov. Steve Sisolak said he expects Nevada’s pandemic-battered economy to be fully reopened by June 1, but he made clear the Silver State’s longstanding mask-wearing mandate will remain in place at least through the end of May.
Masks would not simply disappear in counties that don’t like it, he said.
“This measure will remain in place to protect the health and safety of Nevadans and help get the state to a full reopening,” Sisolak said.
Are restaurants fully open, too?
While gaming floors may return to 100% capacity, current 80% occupancy restrictions and 3-feet social distancing policies remain in effect at restaurants, pools and other non-gaming areas and activities.
Are new cases still surging in Nevada?
State health officials on Wednesday reported 464 new cases of COVID-19 and six more deaths since Tuesday. The Department of Health and Human Services has reported almost 320,000 cases and 5,515 deaths since the pandemic began.
The 14-day test positivity rate – a measure of the number of people tested for coronavirus and found positive – was 5.4% in Nevada and 5.5% in the Las Vegas area.
The World Health Organization goal is 5% or below to relax restrictions.
The Southern Nevada Health District administers Clark County, home to 2.3 million people including Las Vegas. The tourism destination has been added to places in Nevada where authorities have detected cases of a potentially worrisome strain of the coronavirus found in India.
A woman in her 20s who had not traveled recently and was not vaccinated against COVID-19 tested positive for a variant subtype officially known as B.1.617.2, the Southern Nevada Health District reported Tuesday.
The woman did not require hospital treatment, and an investigation aimed to identify people she came in contact with, the district said.
It reported other variants of COVID-19, too, including 242 cases of the B.1.1.7 strain identified in the United Kingdom, five cases of the B.1.351 South African strain, five cases of the California strain B.1.429 and 28 cases of the Brazilian strain, P.1.
COVID-19 vaccines currently used in the U.S. offer protection against most variants, officials say.
Contributing: Associated Press.