Posted on: July 7, 2020, 08:35h.
Last updated on: July 7, 2020, 10:29h.
New reviews show Nevada casinos are adhering to state orders to wear face masks at a higher rate than other businesses in the Silver State.
The Nevada Division of Industrial Relations (NDIR) has conducted 921 checks of businesses since Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) issued the face mask emergency directive on June 24. According to the state agency, 66 percent of businesses in Southern Nevada and 84 percent of businesses in Northern Nevada were deemed in compliance.
Officials at the NDIR’s Occupation Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) are conducting the reviews. After strong threats from Sisolak regarding earlier reports suggesting a statewide compliance rate of roughly 50 percent, it appears businesses are better enforcing the mandatory wearing of masks.
On Friday, July 3, OSHA officials visited numerous businesses throughout the state and reported that 75 percent of establishments in Southern Nevada were complying. Casino floors were complying at a higher rate of 80 percent.
Sisolak — like dozens of other governors in states seeing an upward trend in the number of COVID-19 cases — has warned businesses that reimplementing restrictions isn’t off the table.
Calling early compliance numbers “disappointing and unacceptable,” more recent data suggests businesses are doing better in making sure employees and guests are masked.
The increased compliance that we’re seeing is a positive,” said State of Nevada COVID-19 Response Director Caleb Cage. “But I don’t think anybody is ready to rest satisfied on any of our compliance numbers right now.”
There is still work to be done. OSHA numbers report that only 40 percent of casino hotel pools were in compliance during the most recent survey.
Pool areas are to be reconfigured to allow for social distancing. Seating is to be cleaned and disinfected between guest use, hand sanitizer is to be provided throughout the swimming complex, and guests are to wear masks while coming and going. People are also not supposed to congregate while in the pool and maintain social distancing.
On social media, however, it’s easy to find numerous photos displaying proof of shortcomings.
Scott Roeben of Vital Vegas has been touring numerous casinos and resorts over the past few weeks. He tweeted yesterday regarding the latest compliance numbers, “This looks right from our very scientific observations while [intoxicated]. Casinos are higher now due to bells being rung, we’d venture 90 percent. Told you last week pools under special scrutiny.”
Nevada set its single-day record for the number of new coronavirus cases on July 2, with 985 positive test results. Its second-highest day total came on June 24 (887 cases), and the third-highest was experienced on July 4 (843 cases).
The state now reports 22,909 confirmed cases and 537 deaths.
Businesses found out of compliance with the face mask mandate are typically first issued a written notice from the state. If the enterprise is found out of compliance upon further review, the business faces a maximum penalty of $134,940.