By Megan Messerly/The Nevada Independent
Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals in the vast majority of Nevada counties will be required to wear masks indoors in public places starting Friday, July 30, state officials announced Tuesday, July 26.
The new state mask mandate follows a Tuesday recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that fully vaccinated people should wear masks in indoor public settings when they are in areas of substantial or high transmission, which currently includes 12 of the state’s 17 counties. Though the new federal policy is only a recommendation, an emergency directive issued by Gov. Steve Sisolak in May automatically makes any guidance offered by the CDC binding in the state of Nevada.
A new emergency directive issued by Sisolak on Tuesday reiterates phrasing from the May directive — clarifying that all individuals “shall be required to cover their nose and mouth with a face covering in a manner consistent with the guidance issued by the CDC, and any subsequent guidance issued by the CDC” — while also giving counties a three-day grace period to implement the new policy.
As of Tuesday, the counties flagged as having high or substantial disease transmission by the CDC are Carson, Churchill, Clark, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Washoe and White Pine — meaning that masks will now be mandatory indoors in all of those counties. Participants in certain activities or events, including athletes, performers, or musicians, are exempt from the mask mandate.
The Gaming Control Board, in a notice to licensees on Tuesday, noted that the new mask mandate will be binding on gaming licensees in the flagged counties — including those on the Las Vegas Strip. In other words, gaming establishments in those counties will be required to ensure that employees, patrons and guests are wearing masks pursuant to the state’s emergency directives.
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