LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak condemned large events and gatherings for New Year's Eve which he says will likely lead to a dire public health risk, hospital overruns and deaths.
In a virtual news conference Wednesday, the governor continued to plead with people to stay home instead of appearing in public to welcome 2021.
13 Action News has learned, the Fremont Street Experience may host up to 14,000 people under the canopy in downtown Las Vegas on New Year's Eve.
“I understand New Year’s Eve, particularly in Las Vegas, will be difficult to prevent the organic gathering of people and that’s why it is critical that businesses and leaders are vocal about the risks," said Gov. Sisolak.
The state's 'pause' on pandemic mitigation efforts currently limits public gatherings to no more than 50 people.
The COVID-19 case positivity rate and hospitalizations of people associated with the virus remain near or at all-time highs.
Numerous events with advanced ticket sales around Nevada for New Year's Eve are drawing the ire of authorities.
“To organize or promote gatherings with the tickets or fee as if it's business as usual, that’s just plain irresponsible," said Gov. Sisolak.
"The virus doesn’t care about somebody’s definition or loopholes calling it a gathering or assembly, the science prevails and the science says the more people in a gathering it is guaranteed that a portion are going to have COVID either symptomatic or asymptomatic," explained Gov. Sisolak.
13 Investigates visited the Fremont Street Experience on Wednesday evening and saw thousands of people enjoying the sights, lights, and sounds.
Manager Liliana Vivero at Spinners4U.com kiosk under the Fremont Street canopy, says typically the big crowds mean brisk business but the pandemic means it comes with a risk.
"A little bit, in the sense, If I had the choice to stay home, I would, but we've been kept inside for so long, I'm expecting many people will be willing or wanting to get out," said Vivero.
She says she is glad all of the live shows, bands, and other entertainment have been canceled for New Year's Eve on Fremont Street.
13 Investigates has learned Circa will close Stadium Swim to the public on New Year's Eve to prevent people from gathering.
The Plaza Hotel and Casino in downtown Las Vegas will have a fireworks show to ring in the new year.
The Fremont Street Experience did not respond to a request for comment regarding the governor's remarks Wednesday.
Previously, 13 Investigates was referred to the Fremont Street Experience New Year's Even event website which indicated masks are required along with social distancing.
Signs, markings and reminders are posted to help keep people apart.
The governor says no exceptions have been made regarding New Year's Eve and several enforcement agencies, both state and local, will be out to crack down on current pandemic mitigation violations.
As of late Wednesday night, the Fremont Street Experience New Year's Eve page is not functioning. It is unclear if it is a website glitch or if tickets are no longer sold or available.