Nevada to reopen casinos June 4, welcoming tourists again

By Michelle L. Price
Associated Press

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Tuesday night that he would allow casinos to reopen June 4, welcoming tourists to return to the glitzy gambling mecca of Las Vegas.

“We welcome the visitors from across the country to come here, to have a good time, no different than they did previously, but we’re gonna be cautious,” Sisolak told reporters.

The governor said he would also allow in-person religious services of up to 50 people starting Friday.

As part of a broad shutdown to stop the spread of the coronavirus, Sisolak took the unprecedented step 10 weeks ago of shutting casinos that typically draw millions of tourists to Las Vegas and power the state’s economy.

By allowing the casinos to reopen, with new rules on social distancing and sanitizing, Sisolak said Nevada would again welcome visitors but would be prepared to close down again if there is a spike in cases.

“We’ve taken every precaution possible. I don’t think you’re going to find a safer place to come than Las Vegas by June 4, with the protocols that we’ve put in place, than the testing that we’ve put in place, with the contact tracing that will be in place by that time,” Sisolak said. “We’re encouraging visitors to come and enjoy themselves and have a good time.”

The governor’s announcement came after he canceled a planned news conference because he may have been potentially exposed to the coronavirus last week.

Sisolak said he learned earlier Tuesday that a workplace he visited last week has since had a worker test positive for COVID-19. The worker was not in the building at the time and the governor has shown no symptoms of the virus in the five days since his potential exposure, he said.

Sisolak said he planned to take a test for the virus Wednesday morning and would release the results when he has them.

The Democratic governor instead released a statement of his prepared remarks and held a phone call with reporters Tuesday night from the governor’s mansion in Carson City, where he says he is quarantining until he gets results.

Along with the announcement on casinos and religious gatherings, the governor said he would allow gatherings of up to 50 people, while still asking people to wear masks in public and socially distance. Gyms, fitness studios, movie theaters, shopping malls and bars would be allowed to reopen May 29, but with restrictions.

Brothels, night clubs and strip clubs must remain closed.

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