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Gaming Control Board reviews COVID-19 data prior to casino opening

Posted at 2:22 PM, May 26, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-26 17:40:29-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The entertainment capital of the world could soon come back online in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Health experts, emergency managers, and the Nevada's new State COVID-19 Director Caleb Cage explained how it would be possible to the Nevada Gaming Control Board Tuesday.

"The decisions to open and remain open have been driven by data," Cage said of efforts already underway as part of Phase 1.

Cage said the state has established several channels for a steady supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and other industries and has locked in a plan to acquire more for to establish a stockpile.

"So that we have several months on hand in the case we need to surge."

13 HELPS: List of resources for Nevadans during coronavirus pandemic

Cage said the state's ability to administer and process tests has risen significantly as well.

Critically, the rate of people testing positive has fallen consistently for 30 days as the number of administered tests has risen.

University Medical Center CEO Mason Van Houweling said the rate has dropped from 12.2% a month ago to 6.9% on Sunday.

"We did go out of phase 0 into phase 1 on May 9th," he said, "so you can see that correlation as things continue to drop. Things continue to look very good for our state to move forward."

Van Houweling said Southern Nevada's health system was also prepared for a surge of cases is rates began to spike again.

He said the number of patients requiring an ICU bed or a ventilator has dropped, and, in conjunction with the city and county, the health system is prepared to add an additional 2,116 beds by utilizing convention space and other locations.

"I'm very confident that our healthcare system can take care of the current population, but also as we continue to open up for phase 2 and phase 3 and get back to business."

Van Houweling said there are 10 non-gaming hotels that have agreed to accept and house visitors who test positive for the coronavirus.

He said he would not divulge the hotel's names, but area resorts would know where they are.

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