The doors of shuttered resort-casinos reopened in June with enthusiasm and optimism following an 11-week shutdown because of the COVID-19 crisis. The closure of Las Vegas’ iconic properties was the most visible sign of the gravity of the pandemic and the public health measures enacted to slow the viral spread. Those measures proved effective in slowing infection rates, enabling Governor Steve Sisolak to relax restrictions and move Nevada into Phase 2 of the economic reopening plan.

Phase 2 began May 29 and allowed gyms, movie theaters and other businesses to reopen. Gaming establishments were allowed to reopen starting June 4 under new public health guidelines enacted by the Gaming Control Board. In transitioning the state into Phase 2, the governor cited the state’s progress in reducing the COVID-19 test positivity rate over the prior month, mwhich has continued to decline to below 5.5 percent. The World Health Organization goal is 5 percent.

The reopening of Las Vegas Strip resorts was met with a wave of initial customer demand under Gaming Control Board guidelines including testing for all employees, thermal scanners at entrances, masks for employees and increased cleaning and disinfecting procedures throughout the properties. Many properties distributed personal protective equipment, including masks, to guests as well, though mask wearing remained sporadic, prompting the Gaming Control Board to revise rules and require masks for anyone at a table game that was not equipped with partitions.

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