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Vegas taking steps to stop coronavirus

Mon, Mar 9, 2:00pm by Mia Chapman

Las Vegas gaming floor employees are quietly taking steps to minimise the risk that possible coronavirus germs could infect players or workers.

Casino.org reports that hotels and casinos are releasing few details about plans if an outbreak takes place in Las Vegas.

But KTNV crews visited several casinos this week.

They reported that the Wynn doubles the number of workers applying disinfectant to slot machines in recent weeks.

Hand sanitiser was added to gaming tables.

Dealers regularly use alcohol-based cleaner before playing hands.

A bartender said he cleaned counters every 20-30 minutes at a gaming floor bar.

That is more frequently than before the coronavirus outbreak.

At the Palazzo and Venetian, there is 24/7 cleaning of doors, handles, counters and toilets in restrooms.

Walls and escalator rails get cleaned frequently as well.

Hand sanitiser dispensers are found between tables.

Decks of cards get shredded every few days, KTNV said.

Workers at the Mirage and at Treasure Island told the TV station there is more frequent cleaning at those properties too.

Sporadically, a few visitors and players along the Strip are wearing protective face masks.

Based on visits this week to unnamed Las Vegas venues, founder of LasVegasAdvisor.com, Anthony Curtis, told the Reno Gazette-Journal, “People are completely bonkers nervous about this.

“I stopped at three bars. Each one had one or two patrons,” Curtis said.

“I talked to the bartenders and asked, ‘Is this what’s going on here?’ Nobody’s sure.”

Two cases in Nevada

As of Saturday, Nevada has two positive cases of coronavirus, health officials told local media.

One is an unnamed Clark County man in his 50s who recently travelled to Washington state and Texas.

The other is a Reno-area man who recently was a passenger on a cruise ship.

A third case involves a man in his 40s from Toronto, who visited Las Vegas in late February to attend a conference.

The Southern Nevada Health District said in a statement it is unknown if the infection developed while he was in the state.

It is also unknown if he used local buses while in Las Vegas.

He did use Toronto’s local transit for three days before getting diagnosed.

For those in Nevada who want to get tested for coronavirus, there are two approved labs where tests are processed.

They are the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory at UNR and the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory.

When asked about the potential economic impact on Las Vegas from coronavirus, an economics professor from UNLV Stephen M Miller said: “If coronavirus sticks around for three months – quarter of the year – it would have a significant effect on visitors, taxable sales, gaming revenue and employment in the hospitality sector.”

So far, room rates in Las Vegas have dropped more than 10 per cent, the newspaper reported.

A couple of major conferences were cancelled recently, while McCarran International Airport has intensified cleanings.

There remains a sense of encourage though, especially with the relatively strong economy at the state of the year.

Even if the Las Vegas region gets impacted during a feared uptick of the coronavirus, a quick rebound is predicted.

“Vegas was hit really hard with the recession, but Vegas didn’t close,” Mr Curtis said.

“Vegas survives everything.”


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