In every state across the US, the COVID-19 vaccination process works differently. Most states are offering shots to health care workers, first responders, and the elderly first. Age limits are ranging from 65 to 75. In Nevada, hospitality employees of casinos are actually among some of the first to receive a vaccination, however, it looks like it will still be quite some time before they are actually given a shot. It is taking longer for the process to work and many are hoping it will speed up once the Biden administration is in office.
Fourth Category in Line
The front-line casino and resort employees are among the fourth category of employees in Nevada who qualify for the vaccine. The state has a frontline/essential workforce lane and these employees fit into this section. Ahead of casino employees include education employees, agriculture workers, local and state government officials.
In Nevada, employees in the leisure and hospitality industry make up ¼ of the total private workforce in the state. Thousands of such employees work in the public and are at risk due to dealing with tourists on a regular basis.
Casinos are operating at a 25% capacity rate after officials were able to determine that the gaming venues are a source of the spread. Many people feel that if the casino employees start to be vaccinated, then it will help to turn around the tourism industry as a whole.
The state wants to help hospitality employees because they are putting themselves at risk due to being around people from all parts of the US and even abroad. Going back to November, there were more than 300,000 employees in this section in the state.
Helping the Employees
The fact that Governor Steve Sisolak has chosen to expedite the front-line hospitality employees to receive the vaccine is welcome news to those who work in the casino industry. The casinos are doing everything they can to protect employees, including testing, mask wearing, and social distancing. However, with a vaccination, there would be an added layer of protection for workers.
Many employees have been scared to be at work due to not only getting sick themselves with the COVID-19 virus but also infecting their family members. Many people have large families they live with and even with the proper precautions, the virus can be brought home and spread to others.
One of the most challenging aspects of this virus is that it can exist without symptoms. People can have it and not know, then spread it to others. This is one of many reasons why vaccination is so important.
The Culinary Local 226 union is a group that represents around 60,000 employees in Reno and Las Vegas. The group has been working with the governor’s office as well as other officials to ensure that its members are provided the vaccination as quickly as possible.
Of the many casino operators working in the state, only MGM Resorts has made a statement regarding vaccinations. The company said that they will provide the necessary resources to help achieve the objective of immunizing employees.