Following Thursday’s official order, casino and hospitality workers in Las Vegas are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. [Image: Shutterstock.com]
Maximizing available vaccination capacity
Workers across the casino, hospitality, and restaurant sectors in Las Vegas are now eligible for COVID-19 vaccination. Nevada’s pandemic response officials released an order on Thursday placing people who work in Clark County’s “frontline commerce and service industries” into the vaccine eligibility bracket.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board went on to tweet the good news:
The move to start vaccinating these workers came after reports of unused appointments in the two largest vaccination sites in Las Vegas. Both the Las Vegas Convention Center and the Cashman Center conference hall can administer as many as 4,000 daily doses. However, the Southern Nevada Health District’s chief health officer revealed that the sites were often not reaching 3,000 daily appointments. Four other vaccination locations are also available to the eligible workers.
covers staff of both restricted and non-restricted gaming licensees
The order, effective immediately, relates to casino and resort employees who are working on the frontline. It covers staff of both restricted and non-restricted gaming licensees, as well as people working on-site for lessees and vendors. Every eligible worker will need to provide proof of employment and photo identification at their vaccination appointment.
Getting the hospitality sector back on track
The Nevada state government is keen to get the gaming and hospitality sector up and running at full tilt as quickly and safely as possible. A fast and effective vaccination program is a key aspect of achieving these goals.
In January, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak outlined that vaccinating people who work in the hospitality sector would be a priority, but he did not provide any target dates for the rollout at the time. Thursday’s order only covers Clark County, so other counties in the state will continue allocating vaccines at their own pace.
Currently, Nevada casinos are only able to operate at 50% capacity. Extensive health and safety protocols are also in place, with visitor numbers to the state still significantly down.
Elsewhere in the US, a casino in Mississippi is attempting to incentivize staff to get the vaccine by offering payment. The Scarlet Pearl Casino Resort in D’Iberville said it will pay hourly workers $150 per shot. This means employees will get $150 for receiving the single-shot Johnson & Johnson vaccine, or $300 in total when getting the two shots necessary with other vaccines.
a casino in Mississippi is attempting to incentivize staff to get the vaccine by offering payment
Workers who have already received a vaccine can still receive compensation. The casino has partnered with a local hospital to administer vaccines on-site. Vaccines are mandatory for the casino’s managers, with all directors already fully vaccinated.
The rollout of vaccines in Nevada
Back in December, Nevada places first responders and doctors on its initial vaccine eligibility list. Subsequently, teachers, community support workers, and government employees also became eligible. Since last month, anyone who is at least 65 years old in the state is able to get vaccinated.
Nevada Health Response hopes that the homeless, people with disabilities, and individuals who are at least 55 years old with underlying health conditions might be able to start booking vaccination appointments next week.
Since the start of the pandemic, Nevada has recorded about 298,000 cases of COVID-19 and more than 5,000 deaths from the virus. State health officials reported on Monday that 16.5% of Nevada’s population have received their first vaccine dose, while nearly 9% are now fully vaccinated.