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COVID-19 Task Force Votes to Keep Clark County Bars Closed

The committee cited the number of COVID-19 cases as well as its doubts that the City of Las Vegas would cooperate with Clark County mitigation plans

Baccarat Bar at the Bellagio closed after Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered bars that don’t serve food to temporarily shutter to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Bridget Bennett/AFP via Getty Images

Clark County bars that do not serve food remain closed after a new state COVID-19 task force voted to extend the directive to reclose taverns to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. The COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force also agreed to continue to limit the number of people who can dine together in Clark County to six.

Caleb Cage, the chair of the task force and the state’s COVID-19 response director, cited the continued high numbers of COVID-19 positive cases in Clark County coupled with his doubts the city officials would cooperate with county coronavirus mitigation plans as reasons to keep bars close.

“Having city support for the county’s plan in this is not something I’m convinced of at this,” he said. On Wednesday, the Las Vegas City Council reduced the number of people in its compliance ambassador program from 65 to 12.

Clark County surpassed 1,000 deaths due to complications of COVID-19 on Thursday, with 38 fatalities that day. Since the pandemic started in March, 1,172 people died in Nevada due to complications of COVID-19, making it the third leading cause of death in the state behind cancer and heart disease.

Gov. Steve Sisolak reclosed taverns that do not serve food on July 10, and his order was set to expire at 11:59 p.m. on August 20. But he instead appointed the COVID-19 task force last Friday to determine whether they could reopen pending mitigation plans submitted by counties, which are evaluated based on three criteria to determine whether they are at elevated risk of disease transmission and, if they are, come up with action plans to reduce spread of the virus.

Washoe County also must keep bars closed, while bars in Nye County, with the exception of Pahrump, can reopen. Customers and staff must wear masks and maintain six feet of social distancing and 50 percent capacity.

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