During a press conference on Wednesday night, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a mandate that Nevada residents and visitors must wear a face covering in public beginning Friday, June 26.
Casino guests anywhere in the Silver State must wear a mask that covers their mouths and nose unless they’re eating or drinking.
Barring a few exemptions, anyone in Nevada must wear a mask in public.
Evolution of face coverings in Nevada
Wearing a face mask is new to most people across the US.
Using a mask or other form of face covering started as a way to help slow the spread of the coronavirus earlier this year. When Nevada casinos reopened, face coverings were recommended but not required.
However, giving guests the option to wear a face mask was fairly meaningless. Anecdotally, the majority of casino guests were choosing to not wear a mask.
Last week, the requirement for face masks changed. The new plan required gamblers to wear a face covering at table games without protective Plexiglas barriers.
The latest change came on the same day when Nevada set a record high for coronavirus cases. The new mandate states that all guests inside of a casino must wear a mask or face covering regardless of a protective barrier between players and dealers.
A Caesars Entertainment representative told Bailey Schulz, a reporter for the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
[email protected] spokesperson on how the new mask policy affects smoking: Customers can drink or smoke, but they must wear a mask. To enjoy a drink or a smoke, customers should lower their mask, drink/smoke, then lift their mask back into place.
— Bailey Schulz (@bailey_schulz) June 24, 2020
National mask policy for Caesars/MGM Resorts
The news from Gov. Sisolak didn’t come as much of a surprise. Last week, he teased that he was already looking into new options for face coverings.
Prior to Sisolak’s press conference, Caesars Entertainment announced a national mask requirement. Everyone indoors at a Caesars Entertainment property in the US must wear face masks at all times unless they’re eating or drinking.
“We promised that Caesars would continue to evaluate the latest recommendations, directives and medical science regarding the COVID-19 public health emergency and modify our enhanced health and safety protocols accordingly,” said Tony Rodio, the CEO of Caesars Entertainment.
“As a result, we are immediately requiring everyone in our properties to wear masks, because the scientific evidence strongly suggests that wearing masks and practicing social distancing may be the most important deterrents to spreading COVID-19 from person to person.”
MGM Resorts had a similar announcement shortly after Gov. Sisolak revealed the new mask requirements. While the policy is similar to Caesars, there’s one additional statement:
“We hope that our guests will do their part to help the collective efforts to curtail the spread of the virus. Guests who do not wish to comply will be asked to leave the property.”
Wynn Resorts lauded Sisolak’s mandate on face masks. It wouldn’t be surprising to see other national casino operators with properties in Las Vegas make similar announcements.
Sometimes mandates like this are easier to implement throughout a company instead of piecemeal by regions.