Vegas Sees Record Coronavirus Infections Two Weeks After Casinos Reopen

TOPLINE

Two weeks after the state’s casinos, restaurants and gyms reopened at a limited capacity, Nevada and Las Vegas reported their largest single-day increases in coronavirus cases since the pandemic began, joining at least five cities and states that have paused reopening plans amid record new infections.

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Gene Koonce (L) from Drake, Colorado, plays craps at the reopening of Bellagio hotel-casino on June … [+] 4, 2020, in Las Vegas. – Las Vegas casinos threw open their doors today after 11 weeks closed due to coronavirus, with downtown roulette wheels and slot machines whirring to life minutes after midnight. (Photo by Ronda Churchill / AFP) (Photo by RONDA CHURCHILL/AFP via Getty Images)

AFP via Getty Images

KEY FACTS

Nevada reported its highest daily increase of 379 new cases on Tuesday, replacing a previous record of 295 new confirmed infections from May 22. 

The majority of the new cases are from Clark County, where Las Vegas is located, which accounted for 342 of Tuesday’s new infections, the county’s own highest daily increase. 

These two single-day records come two weeks after the June 4 reopening of Las Vegas which, despite capacity regulations, reportedly lacked social distancing precautions and wide face mask usage.  

Gyms, bars, churches, movie theaters, spas, and other businesses in Nevada have been allowed to operate at limited capacity since May 29. 

National and local health authorities have warned that social distancing complacency during the reopening will lead to a further influx of new cases and that increased testing isn’t solely responsible for these higher numbers. 

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak said the state is “not ready” to advance to Phase 3 of reopening as coronavirus infections and hospitalizations continue to spike.

crucial quote

“We’re not in a post-COVID time,” Gov. Sisolak said while addressing Nevada residents on Monday evening. “Now is not the time to abandon these protective measures. It is the time to double down on them. We can only stay open if we stay safe.” 

key background

Nevada joins a growing number of U.S. states setting single-day records of new coronavirus infections as the country moves toward reopening. Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Florida, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Texas all reported their highest single-day increases in cases over the past week, according to Newsweek. Utah, Oregon, Miami, Baltimore and Nashville have all hit the brakes on reopening, while major Texas cities, like Houston, are considering imposing stay-at-home orders. Though Nevada’s cases are increasing, new deaths related to Covid-19 in the state have remained in the single digits since the end of May and the state’s hospital capacity remains far from full, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

further reading

“These U.S. Cities And States Have Hit The Pause Button On Reopening” (Forbes)

“Las Vegas Reopened. People Showed Up” (CNN)

“Experts fear ‘tsunami’ of new coronavirus cases in Nevada” (Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Continue reading at Forbes