LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Valley businesses are bracing for a drop off in customers this weekend as Gov. Steve Sisolak is urging people to stay home to help slow the spread of COVID-19.
Customers were seated at a bar at Jackson’s Bar and Grill on a Friday afternoon. A welcoming sight for owner Brian Slipock, but he’s not sure how long that will last.
“It just seems as if we’re going to be shut down again, and that he’s leaning in that direction,” he said.
Ever since Gov. Sisolak made his stay-at-home request Tuesday, Slipock fears businesses may be forced to shut down again and already seeing a slower weekend.
“I can tell you it started already. Our customer count is down. Our restaurant is down, gambling down. Everything’s down so I’m already seeing people staying at home,” Slipock said.
The uncertainty has made planning for Slipock difficult, especially preparing Thanksgiving meals later this month.
“We’re stuck with 80 turkeys and everything that we have. Do I go forward with that knowing that we’re open? These are the worries I have as I plan,” he said.
For Wyndee Forrest, co-owner of Crafthaus, the governor’s request was no surprise.
“The first thing that goes through your head is here we go again and panic. And then I think, ‘we’ve done this before’. It’s not really a surprise that a second wave was coming,” she said.
Forrest says she already made adjustments to prepare for a weekend of change.
“I’m expecting more online orders, so with the first shutdown, we created a curbside touchless to-go system, so people order through the website,” she said.
Forrest already has plans in place for a robust take-out system and outdoor dining in case restrictions are placed. There’s still some anxiety, but she’s encouraging people to stay home while also supporting local businesses safely.
“So, whether you order to go or pick up curbside, those efforts do make a big difference to keeping our local and community-owned…our community thriving,” she said. “If we don’t do something now, it’s just going to snowball out of control. So, I like to think it’s sort of a temporary pause.”
Dr. Christina Madison of Roseman University says the aim is to stop the exponential growth of the virus without turning off the entire economy.
“We’re going to have a period where we dim that light switch to deal with surges in cases until we can get to the point where we have immunity within the population, and really the only way to do that is vaccination,” she said.
Some locals are unsure about the governor’s request.
“It’s a roll of the dice. I’m a gambler. We live in Las Vegas. I think you go to do some kind of lockdown. I think a lot of it has to do with the hospital capacity,” Achmane Ablidione, who lives in Las Vegas, said.
Others like Siril Beil understand the governor’s request and will listen.
“I think I am going to try to lay low for a little bit, for the rest of the year, just for the safety of me and my family," he said.
But he doubts other people would listen.
“Now that people are more accustomed to being out and doing things, it’s going to be hard to tell them to stay home for 14 days, if it’s not mandatory," Beil said.
Dr. Madison says people with underlying health issues or are elderly should take the governor’s request seriously. Those people are at high-risk and could potentially have long-term effects from COVID-19.
“We don’t want to overwhelm our healthcare system because we are currently in the flows of influenza as well,” she said.