On May 1, the state turns over control of its COVID-19 mitigation requirements to counties, but Gov. Steve Sisolak anticipates that Nevada can return to 100 percent capacity levels on June 1.
“Based on consultation with our state health officials, I am pleased to announce that I’m very confident every county in the state of Nevada, will be able to fully reopen at 100 percent capacity by June 1,” he says in a press conference. Some counties, especially in rural areas, may decide to reopen at 100 percent capacity on May 1 depending on community transition rates and vaccine administration. For example, Nye County already announced those plans.
Nevada completely shut down nonessential businesses, including restaurants, bars, and casinos, in March 2020 in an effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Restaurants reopened in May 2020 at 50 percent capacity, while casinos returned on June 4, 2020, also at 50 percent capacity. Last summer saw bars closed from July to September. Then in November, the state reduced capacity to 25 percent as the number of COVID-19 cases statewide climbed dramatically. The state increased capacity to 35 percent on February 15, and then bumped up capacities to 50 percent on March 15. Nightclubs, gentlemen’s clubs, and pool parties remain closed, although many are operating as a lounge setting without the party vibe.
Sisolak also plans to remove the statewide required social distancing mandate as of May 1, letting counties determine what’s appropriate. A mandatory mask mandate remains in effect.
Clark County already released plans going into effect on May 1. Many mandates already in place — namely 50 percent capacity in bars and restaurants, no limits on outdoor dining capacity, table service only — remain. The county recommends that restaurants and bars continue offering takeout and delivery as well as expanding outdoor dining.
New measures include increasing table capacity from six to 10 people. Restaurants can also prepare food table side if patrons and staff are wearing adequate face coverings.
Restaurants and bars must hand sanitizer available and should continue health screenings and temperature checks.
Other changes coming up on May 1 from Clark County include the return of buffets, nightclubs, and adult entertainment.
The county will allow self-service buffets to reopen if each station is supervised by an employee, hand sanitizer is offered to the patrons, and service utensils are changed out every hour.
Self-service salad bars, salsa bars, olive bars, condiment stations, and bulk food bins can return if each station is supervised by an employee, hand sanitizer is offered, service utensils are changed out every hour, and patrons and employees practice adequate social distancing. Grocery stores can resume sampling if face coverings are replaced as soon as a sample is consumed.
All employers must always provide face coverings for employees and require employees to wear face coverings, and all patrons must wear a face mask when not actively eating, drinking, or smoking, a policy no different than the current requirements at restaurants, bars, and casinos. The business, open at 50 percent capacity, must promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. Gentlemen’s club must offer routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and equipment with EPA approved cleaning chemicals and conduct daily surveys of staff health conditions.
Nightclubs can return at no more than 50 percent occupancy. All employers must always provide face coverings for employees and require employees to wear face coverings, and all patrons must wear a face covering when not actively eating, drinking, or smoking. The business must promote frequent and thorough hand washing, including providing workers, customers, and worksite visitors with a place to wash their hands. Nightclubs must offer routine cleaning and disinfecting of surfaces and equipment with EPA approved cleaning chemicals and conduct daily surveys of staff health conditions. Dance floors are prohibited if social distancing requirements are applicable.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board will continue to maintain authority of gaming areas, including gaming floors for licensed establishments within the state of Nevada.