Las Vegas shuts down, casinos closed over coronavirus

Governor urges state residents to “Stay home for Nevada”

Nevada governor Steve Sisolak on Tuesday ordered all casinos, restaurants, bars and other "non-essential businesses" in the state to close for 30 days because of the COVID-19 outbreak. The governor strongly encouraged Nevadans to stay inside, and avoid gatherings.

Word among cannabis enthusiasts in the state: dispensaries will be allowed to remain open. The state is still figuring out whether liquor stores will be allowed to remain open.

Nevada's statewide closures may be extended beyond that month, said Sisolak.

"But in order for those who will need critical care to be able to receive it, the rest of us need to do our part to stay healthy," he said, urging people to "stay home for Nevada."

From the Las Vegas Review-Journal, late Tuesday night:

Affected businesses must be closed by noon on Wednesday, Sisolak said during a press conference Tuesday night. All gaming machines, devices and tables inside casinos will be shut down by midnight, he added.

"Today it is clear additional steps must be taken immediately to slow the spread of this deadly virus in our state," Sisolak said.

The governor's action is a directive, and his office promised official guidelines would be released on Wednesday to clarify the order. Sisolak strongly urged Nevadans to stay inside amid the outbreak, but he did not characterize it as a "shelter in place" mandate similar to one ordered in the San Francisco Bay Area.

The businesses that will be allowed to stay open include grocery stores, gas stations, medical offices, banks and other financial services, Sisolak said. Restaurants that can provide delivery, drive-through, pick-up or curbside service will also be allowed to stay open, but no sit-down dining will be allowed.

The governor's action sweeps past a more limited set of business closures ordered Monday by Reno, the state's third-largest city. It follows the statewide closing of K-12 schools Sisolak ordered Sunday. So far, 55 COVID-19 cases have been reported in Nevada, with one death.

Read more:
Sisolak orders nonessential businesses, including casinos, shut for 30 days
[Las Vegas Review-Journal. Colton Lochhead and Bill Dentzer, March 17, 2020 – 4:07 pm]