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Clark County Allows Restaurants, Bars to Expand to 80 Percent Capacity on May 1

Buffets and nightclubs can reopen, but the Nevada Gaming Control Board still decides what casinos can do

The exterior of Caesars Palace while casinos were shut down in 2020
Caesars Palace from April 2020
Leinani Shak Photography

Nevada hands over COVID-19 mitigation plans to counties on May 1, and already the Clark County Commission put together a game plan. New measures increase capacity from the current 50 percent to 80 percent and reduce social distancing from six feet to three feet.

Clark County Commissioners announced changes on Tuesday that include increasing the number of people who can eat together inside a restaurant from six per table to 12 and at a bar from two to four people. Patios already can seat at 100 percent capacity. Table-side food service can resume if the patrons do not consume food at time of preparation and all wear adequate face coverings.

The county still advises restaurants and bars to continue online ordering, takeout, curbside pickup, and delivery.

The news could get even better if at least 60 percent of the 1.8 million eligible residents in Clark County receive at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations and both the 14-day average test positivity remains at 5 percent or below and running weekly cases remain below 1,150 cases. Then the county plans to lift all capacity and social distancing restrictions. About 44 percent of eligible Clark County residents received at least one dose of the vaccination as of Tuesday.

Other relaxed restrictions include the return of self-service buffets as long as each station is supervised by an employee, hand sanitizer is offered to the patrons, service utensils are changed out every hour, and patrons and employees practice adequate social distancing.

Nightclubs with dance floors are permitted to reopen with social distancing restrictions, as are adult entertainment venues, where dancers can be less than three feet from the public if the entertainer has taken the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine and only after 14 days of the vaccination date. The entertainer must complete the second dose of the vaccine within six weeks of taking the first dose. Alternately, the entertainer must take a weekly COVID PCR test and receive a negative result. Many nightclubs inside casinos still fall under the guidance of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Grocery stores can bring back salad bars, salsa bars, olive bars, condiment stations, and bulk food bins, and everyone can return to food sampling if patrons replace face coverings as soon as sample is consumed.

Clark County worked with health and medical experts at the Southern Nevada Health District to develop the reopening plans. “While it is Governor Sisolak’s goal of having every county reopen to 100% on June 1, Clark County is cautiously optimistic we will meet this goal if Southern Nevadans continue with current robust vaccination efforts,” the county writes in the plan.

The commission originally released an initial draft of a reopening plan, which has been revised, last week just as Gov. Steve Sisolak said he hopes that Nevada can return to 100 percent capacity and no restrictions by June 1. The county’s plan heads to the state’s COVID Task Force for approval.

Gov. Steve Sisolak Plans to Allow Nevada to Reopen at 100 Percent Capacity on June 1 [ELV]

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