With cautious optimism, the worst may be in the rear-view mirror. While it’s too early to become overly excited, more COVID-19 masks are coming off across the globe. Nevada is now joining the group, with the state’s governor rescinding a mandatory mask order yesterday. Most indoor venues, including casinos, can now go mask-free.
COVID-19 Masks Come Off in Nevada
Governor Steve Sisolak lifted Nevada’s indoor-mask mandate on Thursday. He cited “a rapid decline of case numbers, combined with declining hospitalizations” as the justification for the change. He continued, “I’m hopeful, confident, and based on the data, we are able to drop this and to give people back some freedom.”
An hour later, the Nevada Gaming Control Board did the same, allowing all casinos in the state and all businesses to lift such requirements. However, all locations and services subject to federal regulations, such as airports or trains, federal courthouses, school buses and public transit, will require masks for both unvaccinated and vaccinated individuals. These regulations also apply to taxis. These mask mandates are only able to be changed by federal officials; they cannot be changed by state or local officials.
Individual cities, counties and school district may still have their own mask mandates. Private businesses and hospitals can establish their own rules for masks and other COVID protocols.
Nevada’s Turbulent COVID-19 Mask History
Since March 2020, Nevada had required masking. This was until May 2021, when the first mandate to fully immunized citizens was lifted. The public began to mask again in late summer 2021 due to a rise in new cases. Sisolak connected the state’s masking regulations with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines.
The governor reported that the number of new cases in the state was 7,865, but they average 1,280 cases per day now. He said that Nevadans five years and older have two-thirds of their vaccines up and that the state has spent $19 million on federal coronavirus relief funds in order to ensure the availability of COVID-19 therapeutics and test kits.
After peaking earlier this season, COVID-19 has seen national hospitalizations and cases drop significantly. This was due to the spreading of the highly transmissible omicron variant. Effective vaccines, boosters and other preventive measures have protected the majority of Americans from serious illness.