Starting Friday, Nevada will require masks to be worn indoors, including on Las Vegas casino floors, adopting the latest guidance from the CDC.
The state's Gov. Steve Sisolak signed an emergency directive implementing a mask mandate "consistent with the guidance issued by the CDC, and any subsequent guidance issued by the CDC."
The mandate comes just days after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended people wear masks indoors "in areas with substantial and high transmission," regardless of their vaccination status. In Nevada, 12 of 17 counties are currently classified as having either "substantial" or "high" risk of transmission, including Clark County where Las Vegas is located.
In recent weeks, the country has seen a rise in coronavirus cases, most of which are attributed to the highly contagious delta variant. Nationwide, 49.94% of counties are considered as having a "high" risk of transmission, and another 16.68% are at "substantial" risk.
Joe Buglewicz/Bloomberg via Getty Images Visitor at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S., on Thursday, June 4, 2020.
In Nevada, the state is currently experiencing more than 800 new daily cases on a 14-day moving average, according to the state's COVID-19 data. In Clark County, there is currently a 15.3% testing positivity rate over a 14-day period.
"We fully support the State of Nevada adopting the CDC's recommendation to help minimize the spread of the virus to enable our local community and visitors to enjoy all of the offerings that make Las Vegas the entertainment capital of the world," Lori Nelson-Kraft, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. "We continue to advocate and encourage vaccinations as they remain the most effective solution to combating the virus."
The new mandate comes just a week after Clark County started requiring employees to wear masks indoors. However, under that directive, masks were considered optional for visitors.
It's not the first time masks have been part of the casino experience: gamblers were required to wear them for months until May when many casinos made the decision to drop the requirement for vaccinated visitors.
Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.