Governor Steve Sisolak has ordered the closure of all “non-essential businesses” in Nevada, including all its casino resorts, in an attempt to curb the spread of COVID-19.
Two weeks ago, if somebody had bet us a bajillion dollars we’d ever be writing that sentence, we’d have said, “Never!” and shaken on it. Now, not so much with the hand-shaking.
The announcement of closing non-essential businesses caps a brutal couple of weeks in Las Vegas, with a number of casinos closing due to plummeting room occupancy on the Las Vegas Strip, including MGM Resorts casinos as well as Wynn and Encore.
Several casinos announced they’d remain open, but their temporary shut-down is assured, and required, now. Specifically, as of midnight on March 17, 2020.
The “shelter-in-place” strategy to control the coronavirus spread directs everyone to stay in their homes, away from others whenever possible.
Here’s more about the shelter-in-place rules.
A wide variety of businesses will be impacted, with “essential services” remaining open, including airports, banks, grocery stores, postal service, hardware stores, hospitals, urgent care facilities, pharmacies, gas stations and others.
Professional offices, including lawyers, doctors, accountants and realtors will remain open with proper social distancing practices.
All retail malls and stores will be closed.
Restaurants will close, and will be take-out and delivery only.
Yes, bars will close. They are defining “non-essential” really, really broadly, in our opinion.
To-date, 55 people have tested positive for coronavirus in Nevada. One person who contracted coronavirus, with underlying medical problems, has died in the state. Testing has been lacking, so expect that number to jump significantly, which is obviously a concern for everyone.
So, for the moment, Nevada is a no-group-gathering zone.
The mind reels at the impact this shut-down will have, on so many levels, in Las Vegas and beyond.
Casino employees have been hit especially hard in recent weeks, with bad news compounding with each passing day.
We acknowledge defeat expressing the opinion these steps seem extreme given the facts we have about this bug. We get it, better safe than sorry.
The order is expected to be in effect for 30 days, starting at noon on March 18, 2020. About 10 other states have instituted orders along these lines.
Our thoughts are with everyone affected by this drastic measure. Every time a casino closes, even temporarily, an angel loses its wings. There are metric ass-ton of wingless angels in Las Vegas right now.
Update (3/20/20): Here’s an update on what’s “essential.”