Las Vegas Shut down Bars to Battle Coronavirus Spread

Positive cases of COVID-19 in Nevada are rising; Governor Sisolak ordered bars to close doors. End date of the newly introduced restrictions is yet to be set.

The Silver State Rolls Back Restrictions, Shuts Down Bars

Announcement that bars in Nevada will close from Friday, July 10 came on Thursday evening. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak ordered for bars to return to Phase 1 of the state’s restrictions. In other words, as of yesterday 11:59 PM bars which do not offer food were ordered to close. Earlier this week, increased number of COVID-19 cases was observed in the state which ultimately led to the return of the restrictions. Following Thursday’s announcement, a press conference took place on Friday. At the press conference, Governor Sisolak announced that bars in the following counties must close their doors:

  • Clark County
  • Washoe County
  • Elko County
  • Lyon
  • Humboldt County
  • Lander County
  • Nye County

It was also clarified that bars who offer food can continue their operations but only by offering deliveries or curbside sales. At those venues visitors will not be allowed to enter the premises. On the other hand, the Governor also noted that bar areas within restaurants must be closed even if they have gaming equipment. With that in mind, restaurants can serve alcohol for their visitors but those drinks are to be consumed at a table and not at the bar area. It’s important to mention that so far it hasn’t been announced for how long the restrictions will last.

Positive COVID-19 Cases in Nevada on the Rise

Upon announcing the new measures Governor Sisolak said: “We know that COVID-19 can easily spread when people are congregating for long periods of time, like inside a bar.” He continued by stressing: “In states where we have seen significant spikes, such as Arizona, Texas and Florida, they have all taken actions to roll back bars.” The Governor continued by pointing out a statement of Dr. Fauci, a top US infectious-disease expert which said that people congregating in bars poses a moderate risk and can be highly dangerous currently. In conclusion, the Governor said: “We must heed his advice.

With that being said, so far the reported positive cases of COVID-19 in Nevada are more than 26,800 and this number keeps rising. The patients who lost the battle with the virus are 592 for the moment. In light of this data, Nevada is still near the middle of the list of states in terms of total reported positive COVID-19 cases. On top of the list with most reported cases so far remains New York, followed by California and Florida. However, the newly reported cases over the last few days in Nevada, place the state among the top states with most reported cases recently. More positive COVID-19 cases were reported only in Alabama, Arizona and Florida.

Difficult Times for Bars in Nevada

Casinos, bras and other entertainment venues in Nevada were ordered to close down back in mid-March in an effort of the state to reduce the spread of COVID-19. After nearly three months of suspended operations, those businesses in were allowed to reopen earlier in June. The venues were allowed to operate following strict social distancing rules and reduced capacity.

Bearing in mind the newly introduced restrictions, bar owners are raising a concern as to why their venues are being shut and casinos continue to accept customers. Cited by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Brian Slipock , who is the owner of Jackson’s Bar & Grill shared his frustration as his venue needs to close doors. Slipock said: “We don’t make money on food or beverage.” He continued: “It’s gaming. So it’s not worth it to stay open.” He did not miss to say, that there are no more than 20-25 visitors and a few employees working. On the contrary, Slipock said that he has seen “videos of the pools at a number of the casinos” of crowds of people disregarding any safety measures.

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