Las Vegas casino workers got some news they’ve been waiting to hear for a couple of months on Thursday. That’s when the state expanded eligibility for the COVID-19 vaccine to include food service and hospitality workers in Clark County.
According to a memo from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, it includes employees of all “restricted and nonrestricted gaming licensees,” as well as workers for vendors and lessees on the property. All workers are eligible, NGCB Chairman J. Brin Gibson wrote, even those currently on furlough.
It is incumbent on each licensee to encourage its employees to get vaccinated,” the memo stated.
Casino and other workers eligible for vaccination will need to show proof of employment, such as a badge or pay stub, as well as a photo ID. Those individuals can get their vaccine at a Southern Nevada Health District or partner location. The NGCB memo lists six facilities. They are: the Las Vegas Convention Center, the Cashman Center, Canyon Springs High School, Heritage Park Senior Facility, the UNLV Student Union, and Nevada Partners.
Appointments can be made by visiting the SNHD COVID vaccination website. No walk-ins will be accepted.
“In conjunction with state and local health officials, the Board will assist in ensuring that every eligible and willing individual described in this notice has the opportunity to get vaccinated, and the ensuring effect this effort has on the resumption of gaming and other licensee operations, and will issue further notices as appropriate,” Gibson wrote.
In a statement after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced the news Thursday afternoon, The Culinary Union, which represents thousands of Las Vegas-area gaming industry workers, said it urged its members to get vaccinated and touted their safety.
“Getting vaccinated is a critical step to completely reopening Las Vegas, getting workers back to work, protecting our families, and helping our union stay strong,” the union said in a Twitter post.
Three vaccines are currently available for use in the US. Both Pfizer and Moderna vaccines require two doses to be about 95 percent effective against the vaccine. A one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine is projected to be about 85 percent effective against the virus.
The announcement to allow Clark County’s gaming and hospitality workers to get vaccinated comes on the same day the Scarlet Pearl Casino on Mississippi’s Gulf Coast offered its workers up to $300 to get a COVID vaccination.
Hospitality and food service workers in other parts of Nevada, including Reno and the Lake Tahoe areas, have not been given clearance to get the vaccine just yet. However, they, too, may soon be getting the call.
On Thursday evening, President Biden gave his first public address of his term. On the one-year anniversary of the start of the national COVID shutdown, Biden announced the country will have enough of the vaccines to cover all adults by the end of May.
He noted that as more people get vaccinated, the more restrictions will be relieved.
“The more people are fully vaccinated, the (US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) will continue to provide additional guidance on what you can do in the workplace, places of worship, with your friends, as well as travel,” the president said.