Clark County's Local Mitigation Plan Easing Capacity & Social Distance Restrictions OK'D

The state of Nevada today notified Clark County that its Local COVID-19 Mitigation and Enforcement Plan can go into effect Saturday, May 1. [Reference table.]

“As Chair of the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, I would like to thank you and all of the Clark County stakeholders for the work invested to develop” your plan, Caleb Cage wrote in a letter today to County Manager Yolanda King. “Pursuant to Section 4 of Directive 041, the Governor delegates authority to Clark County to manage COVID-19 mitigation measures, consistent with the County’s Local Plan and the remaining statewide directives.”

The Clark County Commission approved the plan April 20 to increase capacity restrictions for public gatherings to 80 percent occupancy effective May 1 and reduce social distance requirements from six to three feet. Additionally, businesses currently closed, including nightclubs and adult entertainment, may reopen.

Commissioners decided that capacity and social distancing requirements will be removed when 60 percent of the eligible population receives at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Masks will continue to be required, per Nevada Directive 24 and Section 4 of Directive 28.

Today, 46.5 percent of the eligible population of 1.83 million (those at least 16 years old) has received at least one vaccination shot. To reach the 60-percent threshold, about 1,097,955 people locally would need to get at least one shot.

“Our community has been great so far about getting vaccinated,” said Clark County Commission Chairman Marilyn Kirkpatrick. “If everyone just keeps it up, we’ll get to open up the community 100 percent.” To register for a vaccination, please visit www.snhd.info/covid.

The Clark County plan ensures that our region continues to stay vigilant in protecting the health of our residents and visitors and includes following common-sense risk reduction measures and continuous comprehensive monitoring/analysis of disease burden factors such as hospital status, test positivity rate, community testing numbers, and COVID cases per week while prioritizing efforts for herd immunity by incentivizing vaccinations.

Under Clark County’s plan, restaurant seating will be expanded to 12 patrons to a table from the current limit of six, and buffets will be allowed to return May 1. Curbside, delivery and carry out operations along with expanded outdoor seating options will continue to be strongly encouraged. Areas assigned for dancing can open up once 60 percent of the eligible population is vaccinated. Bartop seating can expand from two to four.

The plan further allows for increasing occupancy to 80 percent for gyms, fitness studios and similar establishments, pools and spas, water parks, libraries and museums, retail stores, indoor malls, karaoke establishments, and community and recreational centers. Salad bars, salsa bars and other self-service options will be allowed under certain conditions, and food sampling will be allowed at grocery stores and farmer’s markets May 1.

Body art and piercing establishments, spas and massage establishments will remain subject to capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements and services will be subject to appointment only. Gaming establishments remain under the purview of the Nevada Gaming Control Board but non-gaming areas inside casinos are subject to local control. Elevator capacity will be expanded from 4 persons to eight.

Events with more than 250 attendees must submit a Preparedness & Safety Plan to the Clark County Recovery Enforcement Workgroup for matters such as testing and screening of participants, managing the flow of people, cleaning and disinfection and other concerns. A plan also will have to be submitted if more than 250 spectators or attendees are expected. Any full contact league or tournament that resumes after May 1 also will need to submit a Preparedness & Safety Plan.

Large gatherings and events with prior approval from the Nevada Department of Business & Industry (B&I) are considered approved plans under the local authority. Those large gatherings and events approved by B&I with stricter capacity and social distance requirements are able to request approval to comply with the capacity and social distancing requirements as outlined under the County’s plan. Such requests need to be submitted to the Clark County Recovery Enforcement Workgroup chaired by the Clark County Director of Business License.

Large gatherings with less than 20,000 people will be approved at 3 feet social distancing with up to 80 percent capacity if (1) the venue is outdoors or if indoors and the area is well ventilated; and (2) 50 percent of the community has completed their first dose of a vaccination for COVID-19. Capacity can increase to 100 percent with no social distancing with less than 20,000 attendees if (1) all attendees have either completed their vaccination for COVID-19 at least 14 days prior to the event or are tested using a PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) test 24 to 48 hours prior to the event and have evidence of a negative test result; (2) the venue is outdoors or if indoors the area is well ventilated; and (3) 50 percent of the eligible community has completed their first dose of a vaccination.

When 60 percent of the eligible community has been vaccinated, capacity at large gathering venues can increase to 100 percent with no social distancing. At that time, event organizers will no longer need to submit large gathering plans. Nevertheless, it will be strongly encouraged that all event organizers develop mitigation measures as identified in the plan checklist.

Until social distancing is removed, all concerts including live music and DJ entertainment, sporting events or other such events will have assigned seating. Fairs, conventions and other similar gatherings can have general admission.

Plans for events with general admission that are outdoors and events greater than 20,000 attendees can be submitted for review by the Southern Nevada Health District on a case-by-case basis to include taking into consideration current or projected conditions within the community. The Large Gathering Certification Form may be found at https://files.clarkcountynv.gov/clarknv/Clark%20County%20Local%20Mitigation%20and%20Enforcement%20Form%20(rev%2004.26.2021).pdf?t=1619473194592&t=1619473194592.

Adult entertainment establishments also can operate under strict social distancing requirements at no more than 80 percent capacity but entertainers must be at least three feet from members of the public if the entertainer has taken the first dose of the vaccine and only after 14 days of the vaccination date. The entertainer must complete the second dose of the vaccine within six seeks of taking the first dose, if applicable. Or, the entertainer must take a weekly COVID PCR test and receive a negative result.

Nightclubs and dayclubs will be able to operate at 80 percent occupancy May 1. Until 60 percent of the eligible population has received at least one dose of a vaccine, designated areas for dancing must remain closed. Once the designated areas for dancing are permitted in a non-restricted gaming license location, they will be considered “club venues” and also will fall under the authority of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

                                                                         ###

Clark County is a dynamic and innovative organization dedicated to providing top-quality service with integrity, respect and accountability.  With jurisdiction over the world-famous Las Vegas Strip and covering an area the size of New Jersey, Clark is the nation’s 11th-largest county and provides extensive regional services to 2.4 million citizens and 45.6 million visitors a year (2019). Included are the nation’s 9th-busiest airport, air quality compliance, social services and the state’s largest public hospital, University Medical Center. The County also provides municipal services that are traditionally provided by cities to 1.1 million residents in the unincorporated area. Those include fire protection, roads and other public works, parks and recreation, and planning and development.