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Coronavirus / COVID-19 Information

Discussion in 'Misc. Vegas Chat' started by Sonya, Feb 27, 2020.

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  1. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Today there have been quite a few new threads on the Coronavirus (COVID-19). Most follow the same trajectory of jokes, memes, snark and plain old misinformation. :nono: Four out of five doctors would not recommend you get your medical advice from a Vegas Message Board, and that fifth doctor is kind of a quack.

    For specific information about COVID-19, please see the Center For Disease Control website at: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html or similar website.

    For now, the best thing to do is follow the procedures recommended to NOT get the virus:

    CDC always recommends everyday preventive actions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including:
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Stay home when you are sick.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a regular household cleaning spray or wipe.
    • Follow CDC’s recommendations for using a facemask.
      • CDC does not recommend that people who are well wear a facemask to protect themselves from respiratory diseases, including COVID-19.
      • Facemasks should be used by people who show symptoms of COVID-19 to help prevent the spread of the disease to others. The use of facemasks is also crucial for health workers and people who are taking care of someone in close settings (at home or in a health care facility).
    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
      • If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
    As of this date, no hotel/casino in Las Vegas is being affected by the virus. There has been some speculation about large conferences or the WSOP being cancelled or rescheduled, but so far nothing has been decided. Moderators will add further information to this thread as it becomes available from reliable sources.

    For moderator sanity and specifically for the purpose of making sure we don't share misinformation or cause undue alarm, all other threads on the Virus will be removed.

    If you feel something needs to be added to this thread, please feel free to use the Report link in any message in this thread to send a message to the moderators about it.

    In the future, we will reconsider this policy as conditions change in and around Las Vegas.

    Thank you for understanding.
     
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  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Should I cancel my trip?

    "Should I cancel my trip" from CDC:

    CDC provides recommendations on postponing or canceling travel. These are called travel notices and are based on assessment of the potential health risks involved with traveling to a certain area. A list of destinations with travel notices is available at https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/travelers/index.html.

    The US currently has a Level 2 travel notice.

    Warning Level 3: CDC recommends travelers avoid all nonessential travel to destinations with level 3 travel notices because of the risk of getting COVID-19.

    Alert Level 2: Because COVID-19 can be more serious in older adults and those with chronic medical conditions, people in these groups should talk to a healthcare provider and consider postponing travel to destinations with level 2 travel notices.

    Watch Level 1: CDC does not recommend canceling or postponing travel to destinations with level 1 travel notices because the risk of COVID-19 is thought to be low. If you travel, take the following routine precautions:
    • Avoid contact with sick people.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Clean your hands often by washing them with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%–95% alcohol. Soap and water should be used if hands are visibly dirty.
      • It is especially important to clean hands after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 16, 2020
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  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    The Nevada Independent has an article about the Coronavirus in Nevada:

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/no-coronavirus-cases-confirmed-in-nevada-but-state-officials-prepare-for-potential-outbreak

    Pieces of interest to VMBers:

    “At this point we are reassuring the public that it’s not spreading in our community, and we are providing information to our health care community to let them know what they should look for,” said Jennifer Sizemore, spokeswoman for the Southern Nevada Health District, who advised people to take the same precautions to prevent the virus spread that they would for any other respiratory illness. “Las Vegas is no more at risk than any other city.

    From the Convention and Visitors Authority:

    Aside from forcing some Nevada-based casino companies to shut down operations in China, the virus appears to have had little effect on the state’s tourism industry. Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority spokeswoman Erica Johnson said no major events at the agency’s convention center had been cancelled, but added that the authority doesn’t keep track of visitation numbers in real time so “we don’t really have any data on whether traffic has slowed.”

    Authority spokeswoman Lori Nelson-Kraft penned a letter Wednesday telling resort partners that it had ramped up disinfection of door handles, handrails and other “touch points” at the convention center, as well as added more hand sanitizer stations and reinforced to staff the need to stay home if they’re feeling sick.

    and from the airport:

    (McCarran International Airport spokesman Chris) Jones said coronavirus had come up in some meetings among airport staff, and that the airport is taking the cleaning precautions it takes during any flu season, but noted that airport officials are not medical professionals and are taking cues from the CDC.


    One other significant piece of information in the article that is pretty easy to miss is a link:

    https://www.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org/coronavirus

    This is the Southern Nevada Health Districts page about the Coronavirus. Right now a lot of the information is just duplicates of what is on the CDC site. But it might be worth bookmarking if you're concerned about conditions in Southern Nevada.
     
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  4. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    I took these screen shots from VitalVegas. From the LVCVA:

    IMG_20200228_145023.jpg
    IMG_20200228_145018.jpg
     
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  5. HoyaHeel

    HoyaHeel Grammar Police & Admin

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    The NYT article discusses implications & decision process for whether or not large conferences/gatherings move ahead right now, and what this might mean for Las Vegas: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/03/business/coronavirus-business-travel.html

    Media and government websites continue to be the BEST sources of information and updates on this topic, not VMB.
     
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  6. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

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  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Sorry I've been scarce here this week. I had surgery on Monday and I am still trying to get well enough to be able to function.

    Let me share some of the information out there that updates what is happening in Nevada and Las Vegas.

    The Nevada Independent has been doing great coverage. I recommend you follow their coverage. If you're a social media person, they are providing a lot of information on Twitter. I especially think @meganmesserly is worth a follow.

    Megan Messerly (@meganmesserly) tweeted:
    With the first presumptive positive coronavirus case in Nevada, I just want to re-up this explainer from my colleagues. There's no cause for panic — we knew a case was going to be confirmed eventually. Wash your hands, clean and stay home if you are sick.

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/indy-explains-separating-fact-from-myth-on-the-coronavirus

    The part of this article that addresses whether or not you should travel now:

    So far, it appears there are only two verified cases of the virus in Nevada. One in Clark County and one in Washoe (up near Reno).
    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/first-patient-in-nevada-tests-presumptively-positive-for-novel-coronavirus-through-va-health-system

    However, those numbers are suspect because the US is not widely testing suspected cases. The number I saw today is that only 1,895 people in the whole country have been tested for the virus. We really can have no idea how widespread the virus is until we start testing more widely. For example, Las Vegas reports having only one infected person, but Toronto Star says they have a person who was infected in Las Vegas at a conference.
    https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2020/03/05/person-who-attended-conference-in-vegas-tests-positive-for-coronavirus.html

    Should you cancel your trip? I have no way of making that decision for you. I'm not a doctor. I don't know your health history. I don't know your level of comfort with risk.

    If you are a 75+ year old man with underlying heart or lung problems, I would probably recommend against it. If you are a 24 year old with a robust immune system, who likes to live on the edge, how could I stop you? You have to do your own research and make your own decisions. No number of polls on what other people here are doing, or threads full of hype and misinformation are going to help you.

    We have provided a number of resources to do your own research and decide for yourself. I will continue to update this thread with information on Las Vegas and Nevada.
     
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  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Today MGM Resorts released the following Press Release:

    https://newsroom.mgmresorts.com/mgm-resorts-novel-coronavirus-covid-19.htm

    MGM RESORTS: NOVEL CORONAVIRUS (COVID-19)
    06 March 2020

    MGM Resorts: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

    (March 6, 2020) - MGM Resorts International is closely monitoring the global health response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention and the World Health Organization. The CDC and Vice President Pence, the leader of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, continue to emphasize that the risk to the American public remains low. CDC Director Robert Redfield said that Americans should "go about and live their normal lives.”

    MGM Resorts is following the guidelines from these agencies as well as those provided by the local health departments where we operate.

    The health and safety of our guests and employees is our highest priority and we have taken measures to combat the potential impacts on our resorts and facilities. In addition to continually upholding MGM Resorts’ high standards of cleanliness, maintenance and sanitation at our properties, we’ve implemented temporary enhanced cleaning procedures and protocols. They include:

    • Placing hand sanitizer dispensing stations in high-traffic, visible areas such as entrances, exits, elevator landings, and hotel lobbies.
    • Increasing the frequency of disinfectant procedures, with focus on:
      • Faucets and toilet flush levers
      • Doorknobs and locks
      • Entrance and exit doors and door handles
      • Handrails
      • Slot machines handles and armrests
      • Elevator buttons
      • Light switches
    We are continuing to communicate with our employees and guests on the guidance for prevention. That guidance remains:
    • Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Avoid touching eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
    • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
    There are no domestic travel restrictions within the United States, but we encourage you to check the CDC website for the most recent information.

    We will continue to work closely with local and national health officials to keep our guests and employees safe. Please feel confident that we’re doing all we can to provide a healthy environment so that you can enjoy your stay with us.
     
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  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    CDC posted an update today for people at higher risk.

    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/specific-groups/high-risk-complications.html

    Older adults and people who have severe chronic medical conditions like heart, lung or kidney disease seem to be at higher risk for more serious COVID-19 illness.

    CDC is asking you to:

    What to do if you are at higher risk:
    • Stay at home as much as possible.
    • Make sure you have access to several weeks of medications and supplies in case you need to stay home for prolonged periods of time.
    • When you go out in public, keep away from others who are sick, limit close contact and wash your hands often.
    • Avoid crowds.
    • Stay up to date on CDC Travel Health Notices.
     
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2020
  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    This article has some interesting statistics out of China about who is most likely to succumb to COVID-19:

    https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/03/who-is-getting-sick-and-how-sick-a-breakdown-of-coronavirus-risk-by-demographic-factors/

     
  12. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Over the weekend, Dr. Anthony Fauci said on Meet The Press, that if you are “an elderly person with an underlying condition,” you “need to think twice about getting on a plane on a long trip and … just don’t get on a cruise ship.”

    Also, this Politico article: https://www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/03/08/cdc-warns-plane-trips-cruises-coronavirus-124153
    And this from the State Department: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/international-travel/before-you-go/travelers-with-special-considerations/cruise-ship-passengers.html

    The information coming out is starting to coalesce around the following information. People who are over age 60 and/or have underlying conditions that could be exacerbated by this virus should use extra caution in travel. Don't cruise. Avoid long plane flights. Avoid crowds. Practice Social Distancing as much as possible.
     
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  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    And in Nevada News:

    Nevada Independent has an interesting interview with the director of Nevada State Public Health:
    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/qa-with-the-director-of-nevada-state-public-health-laboratory


    There has also been a second case detected in Clark County. This time a woman in her 70's who has been hospitalized.
    2ndcase.png

    And the Nevada Independent has created a blog for tracking the Coronavirus.
    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/live-blog-no-more-coronavirus-cases-in-washoe-reported-as-health-officials-identify-test-close-contacts

    Including this graphic they will update as things change.
    COVID.png

    So, no overt cause for alarm in Nevada. You should practice good hygiene and be aware if you are over aged 60 and/or have health issues that could put you at additional risk with this virus.
     
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  14. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Here are some links you may find useful to continue to monitor the progress:

    ARS Technica has a pretty balanced overview of where we are. And they are updating daily.

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/dont-panic-the-comprehensive-ars-technica-guide-to-the-coronavirus/


    Johns Hopkins has an outstanding tracker that data nerds will love.

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6


    Nevada Independant has a blog they are updating with information daily:

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/live-blog-no-more-coronavirus-cases-in-washoe-reported-as-health-officials-identify-test-close-contacts


    And Las Vegas Review Journal has a dedicated tag and email newsletter you can sign up for on their website.

    https://www.reviewjournal.com/tag/coronavirus/
     
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  15. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Today's Las Vegas Updates:


    MGM Grand has announced their plans to close buffets, starting March 15th.

    https://www.8newsnow.com/news/local-news/mgm-resorts-to-temporarily-close-buffets-amid-coronavirus-concerns/

    There is some conflicting messaging today between the different ends of the spectrum in the travel industry. There is legitimate uncertainty in the travel industry about the processes going forwards. If people stop traveling completely, that is going to be difficult for any part of the industry to withstand for any significant length of time. I believe it's irresponsible to say this is "just the flu" or "just like getting a cold" and everyone should ignore advice from health advisers. I also think it's a mistake to say that nobody should travel for the foreseeable future.

    There are articles out there about the potential hits to the economy in Las Vegas and airlines and hotels in general. We won't know until we know. I'm asking VMBers not to spread panic and hype by starting new threads on all the different claims of impending doom.

    This article quotes the LVCVA having concerns about a potential revenue drop, but also citing their surplus and saying they will be fine:
    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/coronavirus-will-cause-a-revenue-drop-for-las-vegas-convention-and-visitors-authority-but-officials-say-were-fine

    Meanwhile, the American Gaming Association wants you to know everyone should totally travel.
    https://www.ustravel.org/press/travel-leaders-echo-experts-make-fact-based-decisions-about-traveling
    The situation is fluid and every day we learn more things. The statistics indicate that most people who get this virus will have mild to moderate symptoms. People who are over age 60 and/or have underlying health issues (diabetes, cancer, heart disease, lung disease, kidney disease, immunodeficiency, etc) are at much greater risk of death or serious infection and should take precautions.

    Most important, if you do decide to travel, wash your hands like it is your job!!! And if you feel at all sick, you need to quarantine yourself. The biggest issue is spread and making sure that the most vulnerable of us do not contract the virus.
     
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  16. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Here is a memo from MGM Resorts:

    IMG_20200310_163318.jpg

    And the text of an email I just received from CET:

     
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  17. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Nevada Independent has added a new updated blog page about how the virus is effecting the economy in Nevada, including conference cancellations, closures, etc:

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/live-blog-tracking-how-the-coronavirus-is-affecting-the-las-vegas-economy

    I have added this link to the sticky post in the Admin Announcements section. There is a pretty good collection of links there if you want to monitor things yourself.


    Wynn Buffet

    https://www.ktnv.com/news/wynn-las-vegas-changes-sanitation-policies-buffet-to-serve-guests-amid-coronavirus-concerns

    Effective today, the company says The Buffet will have staff at each station to serve guests, "eliminating the need for guests to touch serving utensils."


    Southern Nevada Health has reported 3 new cases in southern Nevada today. Two of them are related to the woman diagnosed recently. A third is a New York woman who traveled to Las Vegas for the Women of Power conference at Mirage on March 5th.

    Mirage has released the following press release about this issue:
    https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/mgm-resorts-international-statement-on-covid-19-case-involving-guest-at-the-mirage-301021803.html

    LAS VEGAS, March 11, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- MGM Resorts International (the "Company" or "MGM Resorts") today informed guests and employees that the Southern Nevada Health District has confirmed a case of the 2019 coronavirus (COVID-19) involving a guest at The Mirage. The Company released the following statement:

    "We were informed that an individual from New York who was a guest at The Mirage and an attendee of the Women of Power Summit from March 5-8 has tested positive for coronavirus. Upon learning of the individual's symptoms, Mirage staff worked in coordination with the state health district to implement MGM Resorts' health and safety protocol.

    Professional cleaners with expertise in this area are deep cleaning and sanitizing the individual's room, as outlined in the Company's health and safety procedures and in accordance with CDC guidelines for eliminating the presence of the virus. Access to the room remains restricted as it undergoes this comprehensive cleaning and disinfectant process.

    In addition to its pre-existing high standards of cleanliness, maintenance and sanitation at its properties, MGM Resorts in recent weeks implemented temporary enhanced cleaning procedures with a heavy emphasis on public areas.

    We are currently coordinating with the Southern Nevada Health District to notify guests and employees who may have had close prolonged contact with the individual and are directing our employees to follow all self-quarantine requests.

    We wish the individual well and offer our support in her recovery. The health and safety of our guests and employees is our highest priority, and we will continue implementing the health and safety steps we've taken to prepare for potential health and safety risks and combat the impact of this virus."


    Today, the NCAA announced that March Madness games will be played without fans in attendance.
    https://www.si.com/college/2020/03/11/ncaa-tournament-coronavirus-no-fans-march-madness
     
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  18. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    More positive cases in Clark County. Lots of sports cancellations. I expect more cancellations and closures are coming, so we started a master thread here to keep up with the changes - https://www.vegasmessageboard.com/forums/index.php?threads/vegas-closures-and-cancellations-due-to-virus.172093/

    We have allowed a couple of open threads on how the virus is changing your travel plans and how it is currently effecting Las Vegas. Let's please keep them on topic and free from the regular internet hype and disinformation so they can stay open and continue to help guide decision-making for VMBers considering a trip.


    Also, I wanted to say a couple things. There is a lot of uncertainty and conflicting information out there. It can be a little dizzying. I've got an older parent with some respiratory problems. I live in the heart of the start of the outbreak and positive cases seem to be popping up all around me. Everyone needs to do what works best for them and what works for their particular situation. I just ask people here to slow down, take a breath and wait to react when something actually happens, instead of when we hear the rumors of the impending doom.


    You may have heard people talking about "flattening the curve". This is the idea that with some social distancing and extra hygiene and isolation measures, we can slow down the spread of the virus enough to not overwhelm our healthcare system.

    I thought this was a very good article on the concept and it has some good tips for getting through the next few weeks. Since the NYT decided to remove the paywall from their coronavirus articles, I thought I'd share it here - https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/11/science/coronavirus-curve-mitigation-infection.html

    Megan Messerly has a great tweet where she summed up the article:

    And this Atlantic article is a wonderful overview of Social Distancing and what it means - https://www.theatlantic.com/family/archive/2020/03/coronavirus-what-does-social-distancing-mean/607927/

    It has a great rundown of Can I, Should I and What if I questions with answers you might be interested to read.


    Everything looks like this is going to get worse before it gets better. Let's hope for the best, and plan for the worst. People are going to get sick. Some of us are going to get sick. Some of us may die. But the world will keep spinning on its axis and Vegas will still be there when this is all behind us. Let's work together to get through the rough spots and help each other, including me and our lovely moderators, and ourselves, as much as we can.
     
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  19. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Now we have so many threads, I'm not sure where to put this one. :)

    https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/coronavirus-outbreak-causes-empty-nevada-sportsbooks-reduced-gaming-and-hotel-revenues

    It’s going to be a quiet few weeks inside Nevada’s sportsbooks.

    The cancellation of the NCAA Men’s and Women’s College Basketball Championships on Thursday – better known as March Madness – added to the financial burden heaped onto the state’s resort industry by the coronavirus outbreak. Domestic and international travel to Las Vegas has diminished and large conventions have been canceled.

     
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  20. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

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    Sorry for no update yesterday, but I needed a break day. :) Let's go through my notes and see what updates I've got.

    In the updates from Nevada Independent - https://thenevadaindependent.com/article/live-blog-no-more-coronavirus-cases-in-washoe-reported-as-health-officials-identify-test-close-contacts

    Governor Sisolak has created a medical advisory team to guide state response to coronavirus
    The Culinary Union announced:

    Wynn CEO Matt Maddox put out a video announcement to employees. In it he says:
    "Our business volume is going to be basically empty over the next few weeks. Our hotel occupancy will be in the low teens. And that to me is not our concern. What our concern is is that we all get through this together."
    "We're going to have rolling closures in various outlets -- our spa and salons, we announced our nightclubs are closed, our theaters. But what we're going to do during these challenging times is make sure all of our full-time employees whether you're in a closed outlet or working here, WILL BE GETTING THEIR PAY."

    Kudoz to Wynn for that. :clap: Video can be found here and a part of the video in this tweet.


    Here's a good article about the current conditions in Las Vegas and who is doing what to cope with the ever changing situation:
    https://www.cdcgamingreports.com/vegas-casinos-not-closing-but-coronavirus-severely-impacting-resort-industry/

    Vegas Casinos Not Closing, but Coronavirus severely impacting resort industry:
    Quoting Sisolak:

    And, as I posted in the Closures Thread:

    Vdara is suspending new reservations at this point. They will be honoring existing reservations, but not taking new ones at this time. They will also be closing some onsite restaurants.


    There are a lot of rumors and flat out disinformation floating around right now. Let's be careful not to react to rumors until we see if they actually materialize. The quotes from the article above does not make it seem like all the resorts are closing Monday, as I'm seeing predicted all over, including here. There are many rumors about what will be announced tomorrow, but let's wait and see what the announcements, if any, are before we lose our minds too much.
     
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