With little fanfare from the state, Nevada reopened casinos, restaurants, and bar at 50 percent capacity on Monday, March 15. The move, part of the state’s Roadmap to Recovery, expands capacity from a month-long mandate of 35 percent in Nevada’s effort to slow the spread of COVID-19, a battle that started nearly a year ago when the state closed all nonessential businesses — including casinos, restaurants and bars — on March 17, 2020.
The state also lifted capacity limits on events, which can now host at 50 percent capacity or up to 250 people, whichever is less, if the organizer submits plans to the Department of Business & Industry. “We are betting on safety,” Gov. Steve Sisolak wrote on his Facebook page. “The health and safety of Nevada’s workers, resident & visitors remains the top priority.”
In November, Nevada restricted restaurants to 25 percent capacity with a maximum of four people per table to slow the spread of COVID-19. On February 15, the state let restaurants and bars offer 35 percent capacity and a maximum of six people per table.
Social distancing, including six feet between tables, and mandatory mask orders inside and outside when social distancing is not possible remain in effect.
On Sunday, Nevada reported 222 new coronavirus cases and one death. Since the pandemic started, the state’s Department of Health and Human Services recorded 299,287 cases and 5,118 deaths. Health officials monitor the state’s two-week positivity rate as a key metric, and that number remained at 5.8 percent on Sunday. That number in Clark County, home to Las Vegas, stayed at 6.1 percent. The Southern Nevada Health District recorded 161 new COVID-19 cases on Sunday, bringing the local total to 231,277, with 4,004 deaths since the pandemic started.
The state already indicated that if COVID-19 numbers continue to decline, counties will then have the authority to expand openings on May 1.
On March 11, the Southern Nevada Health District and State of Nevada announced that restaurant, bar, and hotel employees can now book appointments to receive either the first of two doses of COVID-19 vaccine from Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna or the one-dose version from Johnson & Johnson.