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Las Vegas workers must wear face masks, but not the general public, city officials decide

·2 min read

The Clark County Commission voted Monday to require masks for all employees indoors regardless of their COVID-19 vaccination status, but stopped short of requiring them for tourists and the general public.

Monday's emergency meeting vote came after the Southern Nevada Health District recommended masks for everyone last week amid rising COVID-19 cases in Las Vegas.

The CDC labeled Clark County as a "sustained hotspot" on July 18, which it describes as "communities that have had a high sustained case burden and may be higher risk for experiencing healthcare resource limitations."

Commissioner Jim Gibson cited the threat to Las Vegas's tourism industry at Monday's meeting.

"We have already been through a shutdown and a start-up," Gibson said. "We cannot afford to have major conventions choose to go elsewhere."

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In addition to the mask mandate for employees, event venues hosting more than 250 people will have to submit to COVID-19 mitigation plans, businesses will be asked to post signage depicting health officials' recommendation that everyone wears masks, and the city will launch a new push to get more people vaccinated.

The order goes into effect at midnight on Thursday and will be revisited by the Commission on Aug. 17.

Joe Pierro, owner of Market Grille Cafe in Las Vegas, told Fox News over the weekend that he was "shocked" by the new masking recommendations.

"All the struggles that we made to get to where we are today, and knowing there's a possibility that we might have to revert back," Pierro told "Fox & Friends Weekend" on Sunday. "Really do we have to go back to here, once again?"

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About 55.6% of Nevadans aged 12 and older have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, while 45.6% are fully vaccinated.

Casinos and clubs lifted most pandemic restrictions roughly two weeks ago, while the CDC said that vaccinated people no longer have to wear masks in mid-May.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.