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Clark County approves 80% capacity limit for Las Vegas-area businesses

Virus Ourtbreak Nevada
Posted at 5:18 AM, Apr 20, 2021

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County Commissioners voted to approve a plan that increases capacity limits from 50% to 80% for Las Vegas-area businesses beginning May 1, when Nevada is set to hand over control of COVID-19 restrictions to the counties.

The commissioners discussed and voted on the item during the regularly scheduled commission meeting Tuesday.

RELATED: Nevada Gov. Sisolak says every county will be able to reopen at 100% June 1

The county is also changing the required space for social distancing from six feet to three.

Commissioners also changed the number of people allowed at the same table from the county's original plan, up from 10 to 12, and bar seating from two to four.

RELATED: Timeline for coronavirus pandemic in Nevada

Here are some highlights of their plan:

  • Increase the number of patrons per table from 6 to 12 at food and beverage establishments.
  • Self-service buffets allowed
  • Pool tables and arcade game areas can be opened in food and beverage establishments.
  • Nightclubs and day clubs permitted to open.
  • Dance floors allowed to open with social distancing restrictions.
  • Hot tubs and spas can be opened at gyms etc.
  • Body art and piercing around the nose and mouth will be permitted.
  • Salad bars, salsa bars, olive bars, condiment stations and bulk food bins allowed at retail stores.
  • Food sampling allowed at retail stores.
  • Tournament plans for youth and adult recreational sports must be submitted for approval.

Clark County says that the county can return to 100% capacity if 60% of the community is vaccinated and both the 14-day average test positivity remains at 5% or below and running weekly cases is below 1,150 cases.

Gaming floors, places of worship, and cannabis distribution businesses will remain under state control and COVID guidelines.

If passed, the county's reopening plan will be submitted to Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak's office for approval.


The Clark County Commission approved a proposal today that would increase capacity restrictions for public gatherings to 80 percent occupancy on May 1 and reduce social distance requirements from six to three feet. Capacity and social distancing requirements would be removed when 60 percent of the eligible population receives at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. Masks would continue to be required.

Today, about 44 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.”

“The Clark County plan ensures that our region continues to stay vigilant in protecting the health of our residents and visitors to include 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,” the County proposal states. “While it is Governor Sisolak’s goal of having every county reopen to 100% on June 1, Clark County is cautiously optimistic we will meet this goal if Southern Nevadans continue with current robust vaccination efforts.”

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

The plan further proposes 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 would be allowed under certain conditions, and food sampling would be allowed at grocery stores and farmer’s markets.

Body art and piercing establishments, spas and massage establishments would remain subject to capacity restrictions and social distancing requirements and services would 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 would be expanded from 4 persons to eight.

Events with more than 250 attendees would have to 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 would have to be submitted if more than 250 spectators or attendees is expected. Any full contact league or tournament that resumes after May 1 also would need to submit a Preparedness & Safety Plan.

Large gatherings and events with prior approval from the Nevada Department of Business & Industry (B&I) would be considered approved plans under the local authority. Those large gatherings and events approved by B&I with stricter capacity and social distance requirements would be able to request approval to comply with the capacity and social distancing requirements as outlined under the County’s proposed plan. Such requests would 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 could 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 could 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 could increase to 100 percent with no social distancing. At that time, event organizers would no longer need to submit large gathering plans. Nevertheless, it would 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 would have assigned seating. Fairs, conventions and other similar gatherings could have general admission.

Plans for events with general admission that are outdoors and events greater than 20,000 attendees could 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.

Adult entertainment establishments also could 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 would be able to operate at 80 percent occupancy. 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 would be considered “club venues” and also would fall under the authority of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The County’s Proposed Local Mitigation and Enforcement Plan will be reviewed Thursday by the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force before being submitted to Gov. Sisolak for his approval. The proposal seeks to transition to local control May 1.

“While it is the Governor’s intent for this delegation of authority to remain in place throughout the remainder of the emergency declaration, factors such as increased viral spread, the unknown nature of various variants, and otherwise could result in increased baseline mitigation measures, or the State resuming control of some or all mitigation measures,” the County mitigation plan states. “In order to assume delegation of authority regarding specific local mitigation, Clark County has developed a Local Mitigation and Enforcement Plan that meets the requirements as outlined in the Nevada’s Roadmap to Recovery Transition Plan.”

“The State of Nevada remains under an emergency as declared by the Governor. This declaration allows the state and its partners to respond to the global pandemic, as well as to seek federal resources and reimbursement for actions taken to protect the health of the residents and visitors of our state. This statewide emergency will remain in place for the foreseeable future, which will allow state and local partners to collaborate in addressing the challenges presented by this pandemic.