Fifteen Dead in Clark County From Coronavirus, Caesars Laid Off Workers Prior to State Shutdown

Posted on: March 30, 2020, 10:31h. 

Last updated on: March 30, 2020, 11:02h.

The Clark County death count from COVID-19 now stands at 15, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) saying another resident died Sunday from the coronavirus.

Clark County Las Vegas coronavirus
Clark County’s death toll from COVID-19 stands at 15. (Image: John Locher/AP)

Similar to states across the nation, the number of coronavirus cases in Nevada jumped substantially over the weekend. As of Monday morning, the state is reporting 996 positive cases – 753 are in Clark County, home to Las Vegas.

Saturday’s report from the SNHD showed there were 528 cases in Clark County, meaning 225 people tested positive for the deadly disease in a 24-hour period.

All 219 casinos remain closed in the Silver State. The initial 30-day shutdown, which was ordered by Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) on March 17, is impacting 206,000 gaming industry workers, the vast majority of which have been laid off or furloughed.

Caesars Layoffs

The Reno Gazette-Journal reports this week that Caesars Entertainment began laying off workers prior to Sisolak’s order that all gaming be suspended. The casino operator terminated 3,200 positions on March 14.

The layoff is a result of an unforeseeable circumstance,” said Caesars Entertainment Director of Labor Relations Servando Lara. “Given the unknown certainty surrounding COVID-19, we are unable to make a determination as to whether the layoff will be temporary or permanent.”

The RGJ says the layoffs were made across Caesars’ portfolio in Las Vegas. The casino operator owns Planet Hollywood, Paris, Caesars Palace, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Bally’s, The Cromwell, Linq, and Rio.

Under Congress’ $2 trillion coronavirus stimulus package signed by President Donald Trump, the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) provides unemployment recipients with $600 in additional weekly compensation on top of their state benefits for up to four months. In Nevada, weekly unemployment claims ballooned to 41,549 filers last week – a 205 percent surge on the same week in 2019.

Sisolak announced earlier this month that the state is waiving the seven-day unemployment wait period, as well as the work search requirement.

“Both of these instructions are practical, common-sense measures to help Nevadans obtain unemployment insurance benefits, while helping mitigate the spread of COVID-19,” the governor declared. “My administration will continue to work with our federal delegation to identify additional steps that can be taken to ease the economic pain of families across our State.”

Casinos can apply for low-interest loans through the Treasury Department, with CARES setting aside $454 billion in the package.

Shutdown Extension

On Sunday, Trump announced from the White House Rose Garden that the federal government’s social distancing guidelines are being extended through the end of April. The recommendations include limiting gatherings to 10 or fewer people, maintaining a minimum distance of six feet from another person while in public, and working from home.

On Tuesday, we will be finalizing these plans and providing a summary of our findings, supporting data, and strategy to the American people,” Trump explained. “We can expect that, by June 1st, we will be well on our way to recovery.”

The President added, “We think by June 1st a lot of great things will be happening.”