RENO, Nev. (News 4 & Fox 11) — The long-awaited day has finally come. All of Nevada's counties have officially reopened to 100% capacity.
This comes after the initial announcement from Governor Sisolak at a press conference on April 13. It's the final phase of his reopening plan.
After a year of COVID shutdowns and restrictions, it's welcome relief, especially to businesses that have been navigating the ever-changing landscape of constraints and easements.
Places like the Atlantis Resort Casino wasted no time. They immediately lifted most of their COVID precautions Tuesday.
"We felt like we were limited during the pandemic because we couldn't show off all of the best stuff we have to offer," said Joel Villanueva, communications manager for the Atlantis. "But now that these restrictions have been lifted...we really want our guests to know that when they come to the Atlantis, it is business as usual."
All entrances are now open where before, guests could only enter at two main points.
The temperature checks at those entrances are nowhere to be seen.
One can still spot the stickers on the floor indicating how to keep six feet apart for social distancing, but Villanueva said those are soon to be scrapped.
Hand sanitizing stations will still be spread throughout the casino to keep guest minds at ease. Villanueva said certain slot machines will keep their plexiglass dividers as well for visitors who would be more comfortable gambling that way.
The Atlantis is especially cognizant of the balancing act they must now play in order to appease the crowds wanting to take advantage of the full capacity as well as those who are still wary of COVID-19.
"In no means are we telling people to not wear masks. When they come to the Atlantis, we want to make sure our guests know they have every right to wear masks, if they still want to," said Villanueva. "We want our team members to know if they wish to continue wearing a mask, they can. But that being said, they don't have to if they're fully vaccinated."
Those guidelines come from current CDC guidance stating anyone fully vaccinated no longer needs to wear a mask in most indoor settings.
There could still be plenty of confusion for both Nevadans and those visiting the Silver State.
"Obviously, there's different restrictions in different states," said Ben McDonald, director of communications with the Reno-Sparks Convention and Visitors Authority (RSCVA). "And now that we are back to being 100% open, from a capacity standpoint, we also want to make sure that people are comfortable and understand that it's those folks who are vaccinated who are given the most leeway when it comes to making their way around Reno-Tahoe."
McDonald stressed the need for people to be respectful and patient with individual businesses as some may choose to set their own mask requirements.
As for the return of conventions and trade shows to the northern Nevada area, McDonald said that will be a slower process. Those events typically book and plan over a year in advance.
Though the region is seeing the return of some of those shows, he said expect them to be back to what would be considered "normal" by the end of 2022.
According to the state COVID-19 dashboard, as of Monday, May 31, over 48% of Nevadans 12 and older have begun the vaccination process with at least one shot.
Masks must continue being worn while traveling in the airport and on airplanes regardless of vaccination status.
Contact reporter Brett Forrest at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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