Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and president of MGM Resorts International, has urged all employees to get vaccinated “as soon as possible,” as Las Vegas experiences “a rapid growth in COVID-19 case numbers”.

This comes in the wake of the Nevada Gaming Control Board issuing a pair of emergency directives earlier in the week, as Governor Steve Sisolak updated that, regardless of vaccination status, individuals in areas of substantial or high transmission should wear a mask in public indoor settings, effective 12:01am on Friday, July 30, 2021. 

Based on CDC data, the counties deemed as falling within the ‘high risk’ classification are Carson City, Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Washoe, and White Pine.

In a letter to employees, Hornbuckle addresses “another disheartening step backward,” amid fears that progressively more restrictive measures, including a return to social distancing and capacity restrictions, could be around the corner, in what would be “a significant blow to our community, industry and economy”.

“So please, get the vaccine as soon as possible,” the MGM CEO adds. “It is safe, and it is effective. If you’re still unsure, ask your doctor – the person you trust most to provide informed, professional medical advice regarding the health of you and your family. But please, do it as soon as possible.

“Our region’s low vaccination rate  is putting us back on the path to overrun hospitals, unnecessary deaths, fewer tourists, and possible furloughs and layoffs. None of us want that. After the pain endured by so many these past 16 months – and the tremendous progress made in 2021 –  I can think of no more damaging scenario for us as a community.

“I believe in the power and value of civic responsibility. I know that Las Vegas is a caring community and that, when things get tough, we’re capable of stepping up to meet the moment. We are in such a moment!”