Tourists visiting Las Vegas have to celebrate part of their time in Sin City wearing a mask thanks to a new mandate that took effect Friday morning.
The mandate, which covers 12 of the state’s 17 counties, was announced in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention new guidelines. They recommend vaccinated people wear a mask indoors in parts of the United States where COVID-19 is surging. This is in addition to the previous guidelines which had unvaccinated people wearing masks indoors.
State officials hoped the grace period between the announcement Tuesday and the mandate Friday gave businesses time to adapt to the new guidelines.
The mandate takes effect a day after state regulators reported Nevada casinos took in more than $1 billion in winnings in June.
“Every market increased over June 2019 with the exception of the Las Vegas Strip,” said Michael Lawton, senior board analyst. He noted the last time Nevada casinos tallied billion-dollar winnings in four straight months was January to April 2008.
Lawton also said the $3.46 billion taken in April, May and June amounted to the biggest quarter in state history. It beat the previous high of $3.26 billion in October, November and December 2006.
When it comes to travelers, McCarran International Airport reported monthly passenger volume continued a steady increase in June with 3.8 million travelers coming and going.
The interstate travel and spread of COVID-19 in Nevada has drawn nationwide attention creating travel warnings from officials in Los Angeles, Chicago and Hawaii.
The two-week test positivity rate in the state has more than quadrupled, from a low of 3.4 percent in mid-May to 14.3 percent statewide on Thursday. That number is 15.5 in the Las Vegas area.
School starts in less than two weeks and Las Vegas-area school officials said Tuesday children will have to wear face coverings when they return to in-person classes. But not in the Carson City School District which approved a reopening plan that did not include a mask requirement when classes begin August 16. In Washoe County, home to Reno, the teachers’ union wants masks mandatory for all students. However, the superintendent has only recommended they be required for staff and older students.