Nevada closes small gaming operations to curb the spread of COVID-19

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak has imposed further COVID-19 related restrictions on businesses and public activities, with various bars across the state, which house a handful of electronic gaming machines, closed once again due to a spike in cases of the virus.

On July 10, Sisolak announced the Nevada Health Response: Guidance on Directive 027: Elevated Disease Transmission Criteria which highlighted that the region is currently holding in phase two of the Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery plan.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board has been authorised to investigate and enforce the Directive as necessary, with monetary fines and licence revocations to be imposed for any licensee’s failure to co-operate.

In a statement it read: “In the interest of publish health and safety and to slow the spread of COVID-19, certain businesses (bars, pubs, taverns, distilleries, breweries, and wineries that don’t serve food) that are located in Nevada counties that have an elevated disease transmission risk as described below must close to the public effective 11:50pm on July 19. 

“Additionally, in counties with elevated disease transmission risk, bar tops and bar areas within restaurants and food establishments must also close.”

Counties were identified by following elevated disease transmission criteria, as developed by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. Those that meet two of the three criteria are considered to have an elevated transmission and will be subject to the restrictions outlined in Directive 027.

The criteria includes: 

  • Average number of tests per day: Counties that average fewer than 150 tests per day will meet the elevated disease transmission risk criteria.
  • Case Rate: Counties with a case rate higher than 100 will meet the elevated diseases transmission risk criteria.
  • Test Positivity: Counties that have a case rate higher than 25 and a test positivity rate higher than seven per cent will meet the elevated disease transmission risk criteria.

Counties that are under review will be reevaluated after two weeks and ‘must’ show positive trends towards meeting two of the three criteria to be allowed to reopen. 

Furthermore, regions must also submit a ‘reopening plan’ that includes ‘mitigation initiatives and compliance plans’ to the Department of Health and Human Services for approval to reopen. The first seven counties will be reevaluated on July 24.