From sports games to music festivals, new COVID-19 strain is changing how Las Vegas operates
Las Vegas is a much different city than it was nearly a year ago when The Strip was nearly empty as a result of COVID-19 forcing non-essential businesses to close their doors.
Since Nevada’s government issued its COVID reopening plan in June, Las Vegas has nearly returned back to normal, with the majority of the city’s major casinos and hotel and occasions operating at full capacity.
A recent surge of the new and more contagious Delta variant across the United States has prompted new COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.
While Las Vegas and the rest of the state don’t appear to be heading toward another full-scale lockdown as of yet, the uptick in Delta variant cases is changing some aspects of daily life.
Here’s what you need to know about how the new COVID-19 strain and how its affecting life in across Las Vegas
In line with CDC guidelines, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisoslak signed a mask mandate that requires both vaccinated and unvaccinated people to mask up indoors in Clark County and other counties with high transmission rates of the Delta variant. Unvaccinated state employees are also required to undergo weekly testing.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak also signed a new mask directive Monday that allows fully vaccinated guests and staff at large events to go maskless under certain conditions.
In order to qualify for the directive, the following criteria must be met:
- It is held at a venue with fixed seating capacity of 4,000 or greater
- The event is for a discrete period of time
- The event requires tickets or registration
- The event is open only to those who hold tickets or registrations
- The event operator maintains access control that effectively prevents unticketed or unregistered or otherwise unauthorized persons from entering or attending the event
- The venue operator and event organizer require proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination for every attendee and staff member at that event. If an attendee fails to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination, they can’t be admitted.
Partially vaccinated guests or children 12 and under are able to still attend large gatherings under the directive, but masks will be required for guests 2 and over. Any other people that are ineligible for the vaccine other than age can’t be admitted. The directive is optional, and not mandatory for events.
However, those who opt out of the directive will have to continue mask requirements for everyone regardless of vaccination status.
As of Aug. 17, more than 2,256,403 doses of COVID vaccines have been administered in Clark County according to the Southern Nevada Health District. The SNHD also reports that approximately 70 percent of people 18 years of age and older have received at least one dose of the vaccine, and approximately 65 percent of those currently eligible (people 12 and older) have received at least one dose of the vaccine.
You can find more COVID-19 information and safety guidelines in Clark County on the SNHD’s official website.
Businesses Requiring Proof of Vaccination
While there has been no official statewide vaccination requirement some large events and entertainment providers have enacted strict vaccination guidelines.
The Las Vegas Raiders will require all attendees at home games to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination through CLEAR’s free mobile app and Health Pass feature, allowing fans to attend games maskless. The policy officially takes effect for the first regular-season home game, Sept. 13 against the Baltimore Ravens.
The team made the decision following the governor’s new emergency directive regarding large events.
“Health and safety has always been our number one priority,” said Raiders owner Mark Davis in a statement. “After consultation with Gov. Sisolak and other community leaders, this policy ensures that we will be able to operate at full capacity without masks for fully vaccinated fans for the entire season.”
The team is offering onsite vaccination that would permit fans to attend a game with a mask. Full-time team and stadium employees are also going to be required to get vaccinated.
Other sports teams including the Golden Knights and the Aces plan on keeping their mask requirements in effect for now.
The three-day Life is Beautiful music festival in Downtown Las Vegas is also implementing strict COVID restrictions, including a vaccine requirement for attendees and staff. Should a ticket holder remain unvaccinated, they will have to show proof of a negative COVID test within 72 hours of attending.
Concert companies including AEG and Live Nation are also going to be requiring vaccination requirements this October.
As of yet, there is no vaccination requirement to enter businesses, although some companies have begun requiring their employees to get vaccinated.
Since the pandemic continues to be an ever-changing situation, it’s highly recommended to check ahead of time for certain COVID guidelines with event organizers. Follow Vegas News to stay up-to-date on the latest COVID restrictions and guidelines affecting Las Vegas.