Masks are making a return to Las Vegas casinos.
Earlier this week, Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak reimposed a mask mandate for the Silver State that goes into effect Friday, July 30. The move comes as the Center for Disease Control changed its recommendation on indoor mask wearing, regardless of a person’s vaccination status.
Sisolak shuttered the state’s entire gaming market in March 2020 in response to the pandemic but allowed casinos to reopen in June provided everyone inside was wearing a mask and adhering to social distancing measures.
As vaccines became available, the CDC altered their recommendation in mid-May and said that vaccinated individuals no longer need to wear masks indoors. The change caused Sisolak to remove the mandate and casinos were allowing guests inside without any face coverings.
Signage around casinos said that guests should be vaccinated in order to ditch masks, but there was no verification in place because of the cumbersome process it would entail to ensure every maskless guest was vaccinated.
Recently, the CDC flip flopped on their recommendation. As the government agency is claiming that the delta variant is causing a surge in cases, vaccinated individuals are able to spread the virus and that more people need to be fully vaccinated, the group switched its stance back to recommending indoor masking.
Tuesday, Sisolak issued an order that mandatory indoor masking in public places to reflect the tune change.
Nevadans & visitors – please see the latest update below. Let’s mask up to keep one another safe. And if you haven’t yet, get your #COVID19 vaccine. Visit https://t.co/ufUgXTpoJa to find a clinic near you. https://t.co/p8IxlzQOU0
— Governor Sisolak (@GovSisolak) July 27, 2021
“Governor Sisolak issued Emergency Directive 047, which allows a three-day grace period to implement the new State mask mandate, meaning that Tuesday’s update from the CDC will formally go into effect on Friday, July 30, 2021,” read a press release from the state government.
This will force everyone in a Las Vegas casino to wear a mask. There was no timeline given as to when the new mandate would be lifted.
With the last mandate lasting for nearly a year, and the World Series of Poker scheduled to kick off at the Rio in about two months, it seems highly likely that this year’s WSOP will be played with most of the participant’s faces covered.
According to a CNN report, the CDC has failed to publish any data that shows evidence of breakthrough infections in vaccinated individuals posing any risk to public health. The report cites the CDC’s own website which says that “only 5,914 people have become severely ill with Covid or died despite having been vaccinated.”
According to numbers from the New York Times, the 7-day rolling average in both positivity rates and deaths are below where they were a year ago.