Nevada Could See a Reemergence of Strict Safety Protocols if Residents Don’t Avoid COVID Fatigue

Yesterday, Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak spoke with reporters about COVID fatigue. This term is used to describe how people are tired of all the protocols surrounding the virus and tend to stop wearing masks and social distancing. The governor warned residents that if they want to economy to continue functioning, then masks must be worn continually.

Numbers Increasing

In early October, the number of positive coronavirus tests in Nevada was still steady but not trending upward. Because of this, the governor loosened a cap on large gatherings. Get togethers were allowed of up to 250 people in some cases.

However, he is now warning residents that there is a new and alarming trend in new cases as well as hospitalizations. The governor fears that the hospitals will be under more strain now with COVID and the flu to deal with this fall and winter.

Sisolak pointed out that as COVID fatigue sets in, people are tired of being at home. The virus was not supposed to last this long, but it has, and this has led to riskier behavior among the public as well as complacency.

The governor is afraid that as people are getting out and about more and possibly not wearing masks, that the increase in the virus and hospitalizations will continue. If it gets too bad, the governor may choose to reimplement COVID-prevention measures that were introduced months ago.

The rate of infections in Nevada is on the rise and has been for the past month. It is unclear as to why the increase has happened and it has not been determined that the increase in gathering size is to blame.

Casinos Continue to Struggle

Casinos in the state continue to struggle as they try to get back to normal amidst the pandemic. Venues are operating at a lower capacity and tourists are not traveling like they have in the past. Relying on drive in traffic, the casinos are seeing less traffic than they expected.

With the gathering restrictions eased, some casinos have plans to bring in groups again for events like conventions. However, it does not see that businesses are open to hosting such events just yet so this revenue stream may continue to see a decrease each month.

The casinos were shut down in March and were allowed to reopen in June, but the damage was already done. Millions in revenues were lost and casinos are coming up short in the months after reopening due to players not traveling to Las Vegas.

If the governor has to reinstate safety protocols due to COVID, then we may see casinos shut down yet again. This would be severely damaging to the industry and could result in permanent closures. There is no doubt that the casinos would fight to remain open and hopefully it doesn’t come to closing down venues again.

Governor Sisolak is hoping that visitors as well as residents will stay the course, social distance and wear a mask. This way, businesses like casinos can remain open, people will be able to keep their jobs and the economy can hopefully get back to normal.

Rebecca Kont
Rebecca Kont

Rebecca lives in Las Vegas and after completing her degree at Reynolds Journalism school joined the USGS team to pursue her journalism dreams.