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Westgate among first Las Vegas casinos to mandate masks for employees, vaccinated or not

Posted at 9:58 PM, Jul 16, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-17 15:33:02-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Casinos and resorts are reviewing their mask policies after the Southern Nevada Health District announced its recommendation that all vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should wear a mask if in a crowded, indoor, public place.

The Westgate Las Vegas is among the first properties to require its employees to return to wearing a mask.

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“It was a really tough decision,” said Gordon Prouty, the vice president of Public Relations and Community Affairs. “But we really feel that it was the best in order to keep our team members and our guests as safe as possible.”

The policy is reinstated for employees as the spread of the coronavirus Delta variant rages across Southern Nevada.

In Nevada, the test positivity rate in COVID-19 cases has spiked to 11.3% in the past two weeks. SNHD now recommends that all individuals, vaccinated or not, wear a mask in crowded public settings. That includes grocery stores, malls, large events and casinos.

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"Everyone feels they can police the ones who haven't been vaccinated, but it's really difficult to do that," Prouty said. "And there are so many guests that are coming in who aren't vaccinated.”

Prouty says Westgate offers vaccinations on-site for its team members while educating, encouraging and incentivizing its employees to get the shot.

The Culinary Workers Union has also been pushing its members to get vaccinated.

“We’ve held town halls in English and Spanish,” said Bethany Khan, union spokesperson.

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“We’ve sent hundreds of thousands of text messages and emails to members and non-union workers educating them about the vaccine," she said. "The vaccine is safe, proven effective and we will remain vigilant to ensure workers are protected at work.”

Protecting its employees and guests is what Westgate says is a top priority, calling its team members the heartbeat of the property.

“We’ve got to keep this momentum going," Prouty said. "The last thing we want to do is step back.”

The Health District continues to offer vaccines and testing throughout the community. Visit covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org to find a location.