Gov. Steve Sisolak pumped the brakes on moving Nevada into phase three of reopening for business when he extended phase two to the end of July. Phase two allowed casinos and bars to reopen for business on June 4 with social distancing in place and was set to expire on June 30.
Last week, after an increased number of COVID-19 cases reported statewide, particularly in Clark County, Sisolak mandated that everyone in a public space must wear a mask or face covering and should wear one outdoors where social distancing is difficult. When casinos reopened on June 4, the state only required employees to wear a mask or face covering.
The news comes as employees at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas claim that the resort isn’t sharing the number of casino floor workers who tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Employees there claim that at least 15 staff members tested positive, and “the company’s not saying a word about anyone.”
While businesses in Nevada do not need to reveal which employees tested positive for COVID-19, they do need to inform the Southern Nevada Health District, which collects the data and conducts contact tracing. The health department does not share information on where someone tested positive, but does disclose cases by ZIP code.
On Monday, the culinary union filed a lawsuit against two casino on the Strip calling for more stringent health and safety protocols at casinos to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
That lawsuit alleges that The Signature at MGM Grand and Sadelle’s Cafe at the Bellagio, both owned by MGM Resorts International, and Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar at Harrah’s Las Vegas, owned by Caesars Entertainment, didn’t provide reasonable rules and procedures to address the spread of COVID-19. The lawsuit alleges the casinos did not shut down when they learned about positive tests from staff, did not conduct contact tracing, did not inform staff about an employee testing positive for COVID-19, and “provided workers with flatly false information about how COVID-19 spreads and what its symptoms are, in an effort to keep workers on the job and revenues flowing.”
According to Johns Hopkins University & Medicine’s Coronavirus Resource Center, Clark County now has 15,095 positive COVID-19 cases and 416 deaths since the first case was reported in early March.