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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

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Goooood morning, VMB! Not sure if you all saw this that I posted in the "Casino Closures - Employee Impact" thread:

    Cosmo is furloughing all employees, effective April 17.


    Boyd doing the same, effective April 11.


    Stations says they will continue to pay workers through May 15th.


    The National Academies of Science says that warm weather is unlikely to stop Coronavirus, as some had suggested.

    MGM Resorts Employee Relief Fund Reaches $11M

    NV Indy has an article that might be of interest to people who manage to spend time in Nevada outside of Clark and Washoe Counties. It's about how Humbolt County, up in the north around Winnemucca, ended up with almost as many cases per capita as Clark County.
    And it has this fantastic line:
    It's an interesting look at the difference between managing the response to this virus in a big community and a rural one where people assume it "can't happen here". And how the close rural community can be both a blessing and a curse in this response.

    Another worker at Allegiant Stadium has tested positive.

    American Gaming Association Request Help in Getting Loans
    At a press conference yesterday, Las Vegas Review-Journal White House reporter Debra Saunders asked Trump about the AGA’s letter.
    “We’ll take a look at that. It's a great state. We’ll take a look very strongly,” Trump said.

    My favorite, John L. Smith, has an op-ed about whether or not it's time to think about bringing back the "In-House Doctor" to large casino resorts.

    That's all for now.
    • Like Like x 6
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  2. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I wanted to start off with a really interesting article I think will not make some of you very happy.

    Why Re-open the Las Vegas Strip

    The tagline for the article is:
    We should prepare for the possibility that the Las Vegas Strip may be closed up to 6 to 12 months – or longer.


    The author sees different scenarios for Las Vegas in general and for the tourist-centered Las Vegas Strip
    Here's one thing we all can agree on! ;)
    And a ray of hope for VMBers:

    Now, everyone take a deep breath and let's move on to some other news:

    Drivers entering Utah are being told to complete a Coronavirus Declaration Survey Form:
    The state is using geolocation to target certain areas for the alert:

    El Dorado expect to furlough employees tomorrow:

    The Thunderbirds tweeted that they are going to do an arial show on Saturday at 2:30pm locally.

    We are grateful to all front line #COVID19 responders working around the nation! Since we can’t thank these heroes face-to-face, we’re going to show our support from a safe social distance.. with a flyover/salute over Las Vegas, Sat. @ 2:30 PST.

    MGM Resorts sent a memo telling shows to prepare for a June 1st opening date;

    Survey shows Nevadans support the shut down, don't expect to open May 1st

    Vox has an interesting analysis of the plans to open the economy again and the problems with those plans.

    Another Vox article explains how these scientific models work. Why they are only as good as the data we feed into them. And how we use them to move forward.

    And Washoe County is expected to order that visitors in long term rentals quarantine themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
    That's all for now. I heard from someone that was upset with one of the articles I posted because it was "politically slanted" and was too hard on the Trump Administration. To be fair, I did include a warning that the article was harsh on the administration, and I made sure that I didn't include any partisan spin to the parts of the article I quoted that I thought would be of interest to people trying to figure out when the casinos were going to open and life might return to some normalcy. I wanted to address this here, generally, in case anyone else felt the same, but didn't contact me about it.

    I'm doing my best to provide you with good information to help you understand what is happening and why it's necessary and to some extent, what we can expect to happen next. If an article provides important information, I'm going to have consider the value of the information over whether it will upset people with a political slant, one way or the other. My intention is not to ever make this thread or topic political, but it is inherently political as politicians are the decision makers here. I'll try to be more careful going forwards, but my primary focus is providing information to help everyone understand and figure out where we go from here.
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  3. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    First I wanted to say thank you to anyone here who sent a few bucks to Nevada Independent. They met their fundraising goal and the whole $100,000 was matched by another donor. Hurray for local journalism!

    Here we go.

    I saw some discussion on social media about an LA Times article about the long term effects of COVID-19, but it's behind a paywall. So, here's a different one on the same topic that some of you might find interesting.

    Sports Illustrated has an Op-Ed about when/if sports are coming back.

    Burning Man has been cancelled for Aug 30-Sept 7th

    And Howard Stutz has an article in CDC Gaming Reports, It's only been a month, and we have a long way to go.

    A little quiet today. I'll update again on Monday. Have a Happy Easter!
    • Like Like x 4
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  4. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hope you all had a lovely Easter Weekend at home.

    Now for the news:

    Shania Twain has postponed her residency, cancelling May and June dates:
    https://www.bilEly lboard.com/articles/columns/country/9356589/shania-twain-las-vegas-residency-may-june-canceled-dates

    Sorry I couldn't find a link to embed this on the board, but here is a video of the Thunderbirds flying over the Las Vegas Strip on Saturday.

    Nevada Independent has an interesting article about small town life in Nevada and how the towns are handling the situation:
    Ely is a small big town, with 4,000 people in it. They have a weekly local paper, but most residents get their news from Salt Lake City channels. They've started a daily radio show on their local station to have the mayor broadcast information.
    Wendover sees a lot fewer weekend visitors:
    The Nevada Northern Railway Museum has a plan!
    The Mizpah Hotel in Tonopah is closed.

    Howard Stutz has posted an article with a former gaming regulator, saying there's no reason to block the ElDorado/Caesars deal.

    Fox5 has a piece about The strengths and weaknesses of Vegas, moving forward:

    Daily Beast has an article about how we can emerge from this virus, to some semblance of normalcy.

    The NVIndy has been doing a series about local businesses being effected by the virus.
    This one is about cancelled weddings, sad brides and wedding photographers trying to hold on.

    As we hear of more construction workers testing positive for Coronavirus, The Raiders have a contingency plan for starting the 2020 season:
    Here is the LVRJ link on the same story: https://www.reviewjournal.com/sports/raiders/raiders-prepare-for-allegiant-stadium-construction-delays-2005387/

    And lastly, one of the journalists I follow on Twitter shared a page from the EPA.

    If you are out of your favorite cleaning product and wonder if a replacement product will work to kill the COVID-19 germs, the EPA has a page for that:

    That all for now.
    • Informative Informative x 6
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  5. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Hello, fellow news-junkies. I'm not sure how much time I have for my news post today. Been hectic on the home front. Mom was in the hospital over the weekend with some kind of uncontrolled fever related to an infection. I think IV antibiotics have got it under control. But getting her home, with nobody to care for her there, has been interesting. I think we've got it handled and she is back at home now. But I've got a lot to share. What I can't get to today, I will be sure to post tomorrow.

    The Nevada Independent has and interview with the Director of the Nevada State Public Health Department, talking about testing:

    Ticketmaster has quietly changed its refund policy, and you probably won't like it.

    The Nevada Indy's Jackie Valley listened to a discussion with LVCVA CEO, Steve Hill. And she tweeted a quote:
    "While we are optimistic about the future of Las Vegas, we know that the industry is going to remain closed for some period of time and fiscal year 2021 is going to be difficult."
    Also, the agency has identified 80 positions to eliminate and another 270 that it plans to furlough with health benefits intact during that period.

    Here is the link to the story on this topic:

    NV Indy's Riley Snider tweeted about the Governor calling up additional National Guard troops to help out in Nevada:
    NV National Guard is activating an additional 700 soldiers and airmen to help with NV's COVID-19 response. Most will he assigned to Las Vegas, duties include "medical support, food bank and warehouse logistics, transportation of supplies, set up of alternate care facilities"

    After some political positioning by people in Nevada, the Trump Administration loosened up the SBA Loan Program to cover some smaller casinos
    But some in Nevada are still not happy.
    Here is the Nevada Independent coverage of the same topic:

    The Southern Nevada Health District has posted a new map that shows COVID infection rates by zipcode.

    A fourth construction worker at Resorts World has tested positive for Coronavirus.
    My concern is that at some point, someone is going to stop construction if they can't find a way to continue to work in a way that keeps workers safe. Stopping construction is going to slow down and the new shiny things that will draw people back to Vegas, eventually.

    And in crazy-town news, the High-Speed Train to Vegas has won California Bond Approval:

    Southern Nevada announced they plan to use the Convention Center as an emergency overflow hospital, if needed.

    This Guardian article, After the end of the world, the eerie silence of the Las Vegas Strip.
    It has some wonderful photos of the Strip and Downtown shut down, and great content like this:
    Really, the photos alone are worth a click.

    Associated Press has an interview with Dr. Fauci, who says about opening the economy: "We're not there yet."

    And I'm going to end this here with a four tweet thread from Governor Sisolak:
    Nevada's state-specific plan to phase out the current Stay at Home directives and reopen our economy will be driven by the advice of medical experts to ensure the health and safety of our residents, (1/4)

    in addition to the millions of visitors we welcome every year as the premier domestic and international travel destination. (2/4)

    I understand that because of Nevada's position as one of the leading tourism hubs in the world, our State has the unique challenge of enacting the highest safety standards possible. (3/4)

    I view this challenge as a great opportunity & will work w/ my fellow Western regional Governors, leaders from around the country, & local governments across Nevada to ensure our residents & future visitors know there is a strong plan in place when we reopen for business. (4/4)

    Thanks everybody! Hope you are doing well, safe and secure at home. It's a long slog, but we're doing great. Keep on washing your hands! And remember to be kind to each other. We're all struggling and doing the best we can with what we've got. We're scared, we're bored, we're annoyed, we're feeling uncertain. Nothing in this news update helps with any of that, unfortunately, but we are managing to keep the caseload down to a manageable level and not completely overwhelming the health care system. I'm going to take that as a win.
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  6. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I wanted to address some misinformation I'm seeing out there from various sources. Please be careful with your sources.

    First, COVID-19 does not mean this is the 19th iteration of this virus. It stands for COronaVIrusDisease 2019.

    No, chlorine in the pool is not going to "keep you safe" in a pool party. It is aerosolized virus in sneezes, coughs, and even breath from a person standing near enough to you for those vaporized virus particles getting into your mouth, nose or eyes, either by entering in the air, or being transferred when you touch something with the virus on it and then touch your face.

    Also, this is not "just another flu". It is much more contagious, much more damaging, and spreads faster than any flu virus we are familiar with.

    There was a good article in the WSJ on this subject, but it's behind a paywall, so I haven't shared it yet.

    Here is a screengrab from the article.


    The article goes on to compare H1N1 (2009 Swine Flu) and COVID-19. It took a year to get to the number of deaths from H1N1 and we passed in less than 6 weeks with COVID.

    We still have no indication from the Governor when he is even starting to think about reopening Vegas, and even less information about when they would open casinos for tourism. I am sure everyone is aware that this is causing a lot of problems for the economy. But we need to balance that against human lives.

    So, where is Nevada right now? I love the weekly graphics and looks at the numbers that Megan Messerly puts together for the NV Indy.
    Not exactly clear enough to give us an opening date for sure, but there are some good indications. The curve is flattened and with current conditions (including shut down) Nevada is not expected to overwhelm the hospitals with Covid patients. That could change if the stay at home order is lifted too soon, which is why there is so much caution about it.

    The biggest problems seem to be rooted around the lack of solid data. Our country is not doing nearly enough testing. There are many problems around testing, and I've linked to articles about that before. There are some hopeful things on the near horizon, like a test that takes 15 minutes for results and doesn't require the swabs that are in short supply. Unfortunately, these test kits (featured at a press conference in the Rose Garden last week) only come with 8-10 test cartridges and many MANY more are needed, but there are problems getting enough of them shipped right now.

    We also don't have clear answers about how many people are dying of this virus. With not every infected person being able to get tested, some people are being labeled as "presumed positive", which is not the same as "positive". Different agencies are counting deaths in different ways. That skews the data and can make a lot of it unreliable and hard to compare across different agencies or regions.

    The other issue is there are people dying at home of COVID-19, but because they aren't tested, some are being labeled as death from heart attack, ILI (influenza like illnesses),

    This ProPublica article gives a pretty good overview of the problem.

    But there is good news out there. There is a new test that got approval from the FDA this week. It's a spit test, where you spit several times into a small container and return it to the testing employee. This replaces the nasal swabs they have been doing, which also helps prevent the spread because people tend to sneeze after the nasal swab, spraying virus in the process.
    Hopefully this will turn out to be an effective test and the FDA can be persuaded to allow other companies to make this available for wider, and possibly home-based, testing.

    The Trump Administration has a plan for reopening the country's businesses. You can read and/or download the plan at this link:
    The plan seems a little light on details, compared to some other speculations on how to proceed that I've read, but there is some information that can give us some guidelines to watch for.
    One of the things to be prepared for, as outlined in the plan, is the need to loosen and possibly re-tighten restrictions as the cases increase/decrease.

    This op-ed, featuring some research from Yale School of Medicine, talks about what they believe we need to be doing now in order to reopen the country.

    This article uses the Port of Los Angeles as an example of how the rest of the country might proceed to open for business. Spoiler: It isn't going to be fast or easy.

    The bottom line in all these "when will we be back to normal" articles seems to hinge on wider testing, people who are sick quarantining themselves, and a very slow reopening, so not to spike cases and overwhelm hospitals again.

    Here is another about the lingering need for social distancing, even as we try to open up more businesses.
    Okay, this part is important, although a little difficult for a layman to follow.

    Here is another piece from BuzzFeed, from April 1st, about How Long Will Social Distancing Last:

    This article from The Atlantic is a good overview about how we've been playing "whack a mole" so far with this virus. He's critical of Trump, so be warned, if you're a supporter.
    The lifting of some restrictions, even with added social distancing, could come with some difficulties:
    The only way out is through.

    It's not ideal and it's frustrating to everyone. Governor Sisolak doesn't want the casinos closed. He knows where his state gets its money. But he also doesn't want to be the Governor who threw open the doors and people from all over the world flock to Vegas, to get Coronavirus, bring it back home and create further sickness and death. The casinos want to be open, but they also don't want to kill their customer base. I promise you that as soon as experts and epidemiologists say it's safe, they will work as quickly as possible to get you back, giving them your money.

    I'm in an usual situation, where I am probably not going to be able to go back until their is a vaccine. I'm at very high risk with my health issues and not being as young as I once was, dammit. I don't like it. It doesn't make me happy to have to think about cancelling the trips I had planned for later in the year. Or to cancel my "reward" trip to River Rock in BC, Canada for doing the surgery I wasn't looking forward to. I want to be hanging out with my friends and having a good time like we always did before. Will that ever happen again? I don't know. I sure hope so. But I'm not willing to risk my life to find out if that is going to be in May, or July, or September, or December or.....

    I know how difficult this is, but I hope you can all keep things in a bigger perspective. We are trying to keep the numbers as low as we can now to avoid overloading the hospitals. So far, we've done a decent job, overall. We could be better, but we could be a lot worse. We just need to be patient. This is a once in a lifetime pandemic. It isn't "the flu". It's not even something like SARS or H1N1 that we've experienced in recent years. This is a killer and it spreads rapidly, from people who aren't even showing symptoms. Maybe I'm a Pollyanna, but I think lives are more important than money and convenience. I would hate to lose any of you to this, because you couldn't wait to get back to Vegas. I'd rather we all take a deep breath, wait for the scientists to tell us when it's safe, and proceed as they instruct us to protect ourselves and allow many, many more Vegas trips in the future.

    Be well, my friends. :)
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  7. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Rats. I was sure I posted this here, but now I can't find it. So, apologies if this is a repeat.

    Governor: Nevada nowhere close to easing virus restrictions
    • Informative Informative x 6
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  8. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Here is today's update.

    Someone contacted me and asked me to include Mayor Goodman's comments on the shut down.
    And here is coverage from The Las Vegas Sun:
    FYI, Mayor Goodman. This is not "just the flu".


    Nobody wants to be Carnival Cruise Lines right now. They are getting criticized for not shutting down cruises earlier, when they first learned of the danger from the virus.

    What if Vegas had stayed open longer and hundreds of people got sick? What if it was thousands? Would we see a cover like this, but about Vegas?

    The Mayor is right that there is a high economic price to pay for this shutdown.

    303,705 initial unemployment claims have been filed in Nevada from March 15-April 11. Once some of the casinos stop paying employees on May 15, if they are not reopened or benefits extended, will mean more people will file. It is estimated that 900,000 people are out of work in Nevada. And the unemployment filing process has a number of backups and issues.

    Nevada's Economy Among The Most Vulnerable

    But Las Vegas isn't going ignored by the Federal Government. The CARES Act awarded the Las Vegas (McCarran) Airport the 8th largest grant.

    The Fed also tried to loosen the guidelines for the SBA Loans to allow small casinos to get assistance. Unfortunately, they didn't loosen the guidelines enough for most Nevada gaming establishments.

    And Nevada Senator Jacky Rosen is among the Democrats invited to join the task force on opening the economy.

    Here are the Senator's comments on this:

    So, what do we know about reopening the casinos? Not much, but we are starting to get some people talking about how it might be possible.

    Casino Executives discuss reopening with dealers in masks.

    Howard Stutz also has a piece about reopening -
    Mega Resorts may initially feel like boutiques, Investment banker says Strip Recovery will be slow, but locals market positioned for a rebound.

    Jeff Gillan has a great 2:30 video here about what it will take to reopen the casinos and what that might look like. Including an interview inside a closed Caesars Palace with President Gary Selesner.

    This Politico poll suggests that most Americans are not in a hurry to reopen businesses, in light of the dangers of the Coronavirus.

    GOP Senate Leader asks Sisolak for ‘clarity and specifics’ on next steps for state in COVID-19 pandemic
    I agree this information would be helpful to help give people an idea of what comes next. Whether or not Sisolak feels he can answer these questions right now is another matter.

    That's all I've got about the reopening and the virus right now. But there is some other Nevada News that might be of interest to VMBers.

    Ticketmaster took some heat from their new refund policy for postponed shows:

    Officials say no long-term problems with Allegiant Stadium funding, but long-term pressure could mount.

    Not Nevada, but IGT and Circa Sports have teamed up for Colorado's mobile sports betting

    And not casino related at all, any maybe not of interest to anyone here except for me, but...
    Volunteers work to reduce wild horse population.
    Who knew there was birth control for horses? But good on them for trying something other than killing them to thin the herds.

    I was asked if it would be helpful for people to see this flyer, shared by a VMBer's employer about how to clean yourself when you get home. I believe these measures are meant for people in the healthcare industry who would be more exposed than a normal person taking the dog for a walk in their suburban neighborhood, but it's a good guideline you can use to evaluate the things you are doing.


    And lastly, I wanted to share this. I know a lot of us are hanging on by our fingernails right now. Stress levels are high and uncertainty is rampant.

    April is National Stress Awareness Month, a timely coincidence during the coronavirus crisis. CBSN's Reena Ninan spoke to therapist and author Laurie Nadel about how to manage stress amid a global pandemic.

    The therapist offers some techniques and practices that can help you process stress. It may be too woo-woo for some of you, but I can attest to the breathing colors exercise working in times of severe stress.


    So, that's it for today. I hope that some of the discussion here about how Vegas might reopen and what that might look like is helpful more than harmful to many of you. It's a challenging time. Be a helper. Look for the small gifts in your day. Feel blessed if you are lucky to be mostly unscathed right now. And take a deep breath, hold it for a second or two and then let it go as you push out all your fear, stress, anger, restlessness. It helps. :)

    Be well, VMB!
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  9. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I don't know what to tell you, but how about we start with this quote from a Governor Sisolak press conference last night.

    “It’s not going to be just flip on the light switch and everything goes back to normal because that’s not how we’re doing things. It would be unfair for me to just guess a date. I won’t do that.” - Governor Sisolak

    Here is more about what was said in the press conference:
    He had a response to questions about Mayor Goodman's comments too:

    Here are the White House Guidelines for reopening up different communities.

    If you look at the plan, or listen to any of the governors, you will hear that we need more testing before we can open up. But do we have enough tests?

    There has also been some indication that this virus is more widespread than we thought.

    But there are some good signs in Nevada for testing. Yesterday I mentioned that UNR in Reno is making swabs. And Jim Murren's COVID Task Force has some news too.

    In this article they indicate that little more than 1% have been tested in Nevada

    But, remember, this comment means we may know more about how/when Vegas may start opening up next week:
    So, hopefully more information specific to Las Vegas soon.

    They are releasing demographic information on COVID fatalities in Nevada

    LVRJ has an article with Patient Zero, the guy who was the first presumptive positive in Nevada.

    This Guardian article proposes that we are closer to the beginning of this virus, than the end.
    People are understandably looking for good news. But the truth is, we’re nowhere near controlling coronavirus

    But enough about that virus. Vegas is still doing Vegas things. I'm happy to see some construction projects on the webcams and photos of the Strip. I also saw this photo of them installing huge palm trees by the Welcome to Las Vegas Sign.


    I look forward to getting my picture taken there again some day.

    And I know we're all missing Vegas right now, but maybe, just maybe, does this help a little bit?


    Nobody likes those creepy hoppers all over the sidewalks. :haha:

    And even if everyone isn't open for business, Vegas is making the best of what they've got.

    Local cannabis harvest machine makers create machine to sanitize masks.

    And last, but not least, I saw this article that I don't entirely understand, but some of you might find it informative.
    Las Vegas Sands suspends quarterly dividends, but will continue $5.5B in Macau, Singapore projects

    Thanks for reading. That's all I've got for now.
    Last edited: Apr 17, 2020
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  10. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I will do a longer update later today or tomorrow with more news, but this morning an Op-Ed was published from Wynn CEO, Matt Maddox, along with him posting a detailed plan for reopening on the Wynn website.

    Here are the details.


    Please read all of this:
    And then he puts out his basic plan for how Nevada should proceed.

    In order to be able to recover and reopen in Las Vegas, this is what I believe are the right steps to take:

    1. The governor’s appointed Task Force should be focused on COVID- 19 testing capabilities and safely reopening the economy.

    2. Reopen parts of the local Nevada economy in early May. Begin with reduced occupancy, physical distancing measures in place, temperature checks and no large gatherings. We all need to wear a mask. Wearing a mask is uncomfortable; however, it will allow our economy to reopen faster.

    3. Follow the data provided by a team of modeling experts tracking benchmarks based on the following criteria:

    a. Increases in COVID-19 testing velocity.

    b. Hospitalizations and deaths per million should not exceed the national average over any sustained period.

    c. Hospital critical care bed availability should be reserved based on a ratio of current COVID-19 patients in the event of a spike.

    d. Full transparent data should be public, web-based and accessible to anyone.

    4. Assuming in mid- to late-May we are still in line with the benchmarks, slowly begin to reopen the Las Vegas Strip with extensive safety measures in place.

    5. Monitor the data every day. If we need to, marginally pull back or move forward.

    The main obstacle on the list above is widespread testing. Our state, the medical community, the Task Force and resort industry leaders are focused on ways to vastly enhance testing, and I anticipate it will happen over the coming weeks.

    And if you go to the website at https://www.visitwynn.com/documents/Wynn-Health-Plan.pdf you can see the full, detailed plan. I will include some higlights that might be of interest to VMBers.

    Please keep in mind, these dates and methods are not the deciding factor here. This is a suggestion from the CEO of Wynn, not the plan forward from the Governor, who will ultimately make the decisions on what and when.

    Here are some screenshots from the plan for guests at Wynn:


    And some plans for inside the casino:



    And for the pool:


    And golf:


    And this will be the procedure for screening guests for COVID-19:


    So, I have some thoughts to share. It is interesting to see the depth of this plan. Nevada is working on the best way to reopen in a timely manner to get people back to Las Vegas and reopen the casinos. However, there does not appear to be a plan for "normal" operations. Those of you expecting "normal" Vegas when they reopen are going to be sorely disappointed. However, this is a workable solution, once the state has the means for wide-spread testing and tracking of the virus in the state.

    Again, this is Maddox's plan, not the official plan of the State of Nevada. Will we see some of this implemented as the casinos reopen? Absolutely. Will it happen on Maddox's time schedule? Dunno. We still have to wait and see what the Governor says his plan is next week.

    I'll have more for you later today, but wanted to get this published ASAP as I know it is of interest to all of us.
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2020
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  11. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    I hope that some of you followed the link to see the full plan put forward by Maddox @ Wynn. It's a good plan. I like his optimism that they can start it mid-May, despite the troubles he mentions with testing. I guess we just keep waiting and seeing what happens. Oh, and sorry for posting that poker screen shot twice. Itchy insert finger, I guess. :)

    So, in other news.

    Please be very careful and verify stories before you repeat them. There are a lot of conspiracy theories out there about this virus. Some are familiar and ridiculous, but some have been gaining some traction, even in some prominent media circles.

    I have to admit I chuckled a bit at this scoop from TMZ, but looks like Maddox's statement today proved it out. :)
    TMZ warns that Vegas is going to look A LOT different when it reopens:

    This article talks about Vegas not hosting the NFL Draft and the losses as a result:

    A worker at CIRCA's construction site has tested positive for COVID-19
    One thing I've been sort of glad to see in Las Vegas is the continuation of the construction projects. There have been some barriers out and around some of the properties with reports of something happening inside. And the continued work on the Stadium, Circa, Resorts World, etc will be draws to get people coming back to our favorite city when the time comes. But if these workers are not staying safe and able to distance, I'm afraid they will eventually be forced to shut down construction projects too. I hope it doesn't come to that.

    Deadspin did a piece on what Vegas will look like when it reopens and the problems that they face.

    Nevada Independent published a very interesting story from a historian, about the 1918 flu in Las Vegas.
    Really, these quotes don't do it justice. It's not a terribly long read, you should make some time for it. After all, as they say, history doesn't repeat itself, it rhymes. :)

    Just a couple more, not Nevada specific things.

    Polling does not seem to indicate people are ready to leave their isolation.

    Propublica put out an interesting piece called Coronavirus Advice from Abroad: 7 Lessons Governors should not ignore:
    They take some swipes at Trump in the start of the article, but skip that to get to the good stuff that matters.
    The steps break down as follows. Each has a section to detail what is required.
    1. Build an army of contact tracers.
    2. Be prepared to test constantly.
    3. Isolate people with suspected infections from their family.
    4. Protect, protect, protect health care workers.
    5. Normal is not the goal.
    6. Keep your eyes peeled for the Second Wave.
    7. Clear Communication is critical.

    And lastly, I wanted to offer up this excellent piece from Science Magazine. It's not an easy read, but it provides a very good picture of why you don't want to get this or have anyone you know or care about get it.

    How does coronavirus kill? Clinicians trace a ferocious rampage through the body, from brain to toes
    I'm not going to quote a bunch of the article, you can read it if you're interested.

    That's it for this weekend. I know that we're all tired of this virus, but I think we all need to get adjusted to the idea that even "normal" isn't going to feel like normal for a long time with this virus around. Until we have a vaccine, or it runs its course, it is going to be lurking out there waiting for us to come out and get infected, or infect others. Please be smart and safe.
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  12. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This week we are hoping to get the plan for reopening from the Governor. No idea when or if it will come, but I'll get it up here as soon as I can.

    Opening Up America Leave Casinos Speculating Where They Fit

    GLPI has completed the purchase of Tropicana Las Vegas

    MIT Technology Review says that we need to seriously ramp up testing if we plan to open businesses this summer.

    Ken Adams has a good article about the closing of the Lakeside Inn in Tahoe in CDC Gaming

    Dr Fauci has some words of caution for opening up too soon:

    The World Series of Poker at Rio has been postponned until Fall, date to be determined

    Washoe County says they believe they are at or near the peak of infections in their county

    That's all I've got for today. Thanks for reading. I hope this information is helpful to someone.
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  13. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Lots of stuff for you today.

    First, Life is Beautiful has been cancelled for 2020.

    And on a related note:

    Healthcare expert predicts concerts and festivals will not return until autumn 2021

    South Point Hotel/Casino to furlough most employees, indefinitely.

    William Hill CEO talks sports betting outlook, casinos & return to normalcy

    The Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus put out their plan for opening the casinos and it isn't to just throw open all the doors and invite tourists back to Vegas.
    The primary complaint seems to be that Sisolak hasn't put out a plan for reopening, but nobody seems to have more than loose ideas. Here are theirs.

    The problem with all of these plans is that Nevada does not yet meet the first requirement of the Administration plan to reopen, there has not been a decline in cases for 14 days. Most states are not at that benchmark, but are feeling political pressure to reopen soon.

    There was a teleconference with Reps Lee and Horsford, along with Chamber of Commerce members from different ethnic groups, and their concern is widespread testing availability

    And here is another article about the need to ramp up testing in Nevada before they can reopen.
    And that doesn't address the need for contact tracing of people who test positive:

    And here is more from the Governor's Health Advisory Team on reopening:

    This Las Vegas pulmunologist is preparing for treating people who had Coronavirus, after they leave the hospital.

    Here's another article about Clark County's plans for ramping up testing:

    Governor Sisolak had a meeting where he discussed reopening businesses, and announced schools are closed for the year and will continue with distance learning.

    In Vegas Gonna Vegas news, strip clubs are making their case for Federal Coronavirus Aid:

    I wasn't going to include this, because it's on MSNBC, which some of you do not consider a reliable source. However, it's video and it's spreading to larger national outlets and it does not make Las Vegas look great to the tourists who are going to be needed to bring back business in the tourist corridors of Nevada. The video is available at the bottom of this article.
    Mayor Carolyn Goodman has been vocal in her opposition to the closure of the casinos. But anyone with any familiarity with Public Relations would say this is not the way to get your message out successfully.

    Nevada news fixture, Jon Ralson, has an opinion article about Sisolak's press conference. It's complicated.
    Ralston has sympathy for the difficult decisions the Governor has to make, but he makes excellent points about how the people are looking for guidance, for hope, for a leader. And what they get is not that. I see it here. What if he came out and said that nothing is going to happen with The Strip opening until at least Fall? It would be devastating to many people here on VMB, but it would be some framework we can work with. We can plan for the future. We would have some kind of plan to work off of. Maybe it would have to change, but people are looking at heading to Vegas on May 1st and all signs point to there being no way the casinos will open then. But when? Is there any way to know? To have a plan and start to work cautiously towards it? At some point we have to have a plan. I'm still hopeful we will see something concrete from the Governor by the end of this week.

    The Nevada Gaming Control Board has put out a 6 page document about reopening the casinos.
    It is asking all casinos to submit a reopening plan at least 7 days before reopening. They request the plans contain specific information. It does not cover what safety standards and distancing will be required in the casinos. Please feel free to read the document for any clues I missed, but it mostly deals with licensing and cash.

    So where is Nevada with this virus? Nevada Independent has put out the 4th version of their "Coronavirus Contextualized" series.

    Some other articles of note, but not Nevada specific:

    A small study was done in VA hospitals to determine the effectiveness of hydroxychloroquine

    This Vox piece addresses something I've been interested in, regarding Vegas. If you open it, will they come?

    That's what I've got for today. Thanks for reading. I hope it's helpful.
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  14. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Well, I assume many of you saw the big Vegas news of the day yesterday, which is something I mentioned yesterday. Mayor Goodman made some waves with her comments on Anderson Cooper on CNN. I still don't think it's wise, from a PR perspective, to tell a world for of potential customers for a town almost wholly supported by tourism, that you want to be the "control group" for this virus. I know I heard from a lot of my less enthusiastic about Vegas friends who were freaking out about what she said. Anderson Cooper also interviewed Governor Sisolak later in the day. I'm going to include both videos here for you to watch, if you're interested.

    Lots of local media covered this:

    Nevada Independent:

    And Nevada Current:
    They make my point about Public Relations:
    CDC Gaming Reports:

    NBC News:

    City Council Members weighed in:
    Here is the full statement put out by the Culinary Union:


    There was a lot of reaction on social media. Most of it not kind to the Mayor. My personal favorite came from @ditzkof who says: "if only some prescient filmmaker had warned us of the dangers of trying to conduct business as usual in Las Vegas during a global crisis", and then included this awesome video clip from Mars Attacks.

    Even Daniel Negreanu (@RealKidPoker) had something to add:
    I couldn’t imagine a public official coming off worse in an interview.

    There should be a mercy rule.

    And she even got the Lord Farquaad from Shrek treatment:

    Yikes. Bad time to be the Mayor, I guess. I hope it doesn't do any long term damage to tourism. So, enough of that.

    CDC Gaming says that the virus has played havoc on Sands 1stQ finances:

    Hard Rock expects it will take a year for its casinos to recover:

    MGM raises $750 million in new debt, says revenues fell 29% in the first quarter

    John L Smith has a piece in CDC Gaming giving kudos to Wynn for their plan to reopen, and to the Governor:

    We definitely need to do something for the unemployed, as the numbers continue to climb in Nevada, and across the country.

    This CBS Poll does not seem to indicate a large majority are ready to get back to travel and going out.

    Senator Jackie Rosen is going to try to get something in the next aid package to help small casinos:

    Three more workers at Resort World have tested positive for Coronavirus:

    And last, but certainly not least, there are currently a LOT of rumors circulating out there about which casinos are going to open. I've seen TI reported often, including in the LVRJ:
    TI Planning To Reopen May 15th
    But read the article carefully and it's not as clear cut as the headline makes it seem.
    I saw an interesting tweet from someone who says they work at TI (sorry, couldn't confirm) who said, "They HOPE to reopen then. But even then it won’t fully reopen, only their coffee shop and breeze bar will be open and TWO floors to book will be open. Trust me i work there but even then i might not have a job any more because they are laying off 1000 people, social distancing."

    I'm also hearing rumors about Venetian/Palazzo opening on June 1st, but nothing definite yet.

    Again, I urge caution about getting your hopes up too high. We can't know yet what is going to happen. And, again, this is what Sisolak said on Wednesday (per LVRJ):

    “We have not started a downward trajectory. So I can’t give you that day,” Sisolak said. “But I can tell you for certain some of the directives will have to be extended. We’re clearly not going to be opening up any gaming establishments, and some of the other businesses, we’re gonna have to continue with the social distancing and the avoidance of large group gatherings and whatnot regardless.”

    I hope Vegas opens up as soon as it can, for my friends who work in Vegas, and for those of you craving hard to get back to town. But the last thing Vegas wants to do is to open only to have a bunch of people get sick and bring it back to their towns, resulting in Vegas having to shut down again. I think that having to shut down a second time would be worse for Vegas than waiting an extra month or two to know that they have all the different procedures and practices worked out before inviting the world back to Vegas.

    Also, cases have to slow down, hospital beds need to empty, Nevada needs to seriously increase the amount of testing they are doing, and the casinos have a LOT of work to do to be ready for people to come back to Vegas. To suggest that can happen in the next three weeks, seems overly optimistic.

    I'm not saying "don't get excited", I'm just saying to gird your proverbial loins so that you aren't crushed if the Governor extends the shut down another month in the next week or so.

    That's it from me today. I'm tired. Quarantine is hard and it's wearing on me. I'm happy for the feedback that some of you are getting a benefit from me posting all of this news. I appreciate the kind words. It's not easy to gather and condense all this information for you, but I'm happy to do it while we are limiting threads here. I appreciate the PMs and emails from people to make sure I saw a news item or rumor. It helps to have extra sets of eyes out there. :nworthy:

    Hopefully they can speed up some of these possible vaccines and our lives can get back to some sense of normalcy. I think we all are ready. But I'm also ready to spend quite a bit more time in my home, social distancing, if that's what the science dictates. My hope is that nobody here gets it, and nobody dies!!! I also look forward to a time when Vegas is mostly back to normal, and safe for all of us, regardless of COVID risk, are able to meet up in Vegas and share a drink or twelve at some casino and get to some serious shenanigans together. I think that we've earned it. :)
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  15. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Okay, so I lied. :p

    @win4me sent me an article I had missed and I knew you'd love the kicker in this story.

    Unpausing Las Vegas: What might our valley look like after the shutdown lifts?
    How's this for a silver lining?
    I'm happy to be able to end this for today on a relatively happy note. :)
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  16. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Little less criticism of the mayor today, but wanted to share these polls from yesterday.



    Las Vegas Sands announces it will pay employees through May 17th.

    Passenger traffic at McCarran was down 54% in March:

    This article includes specific info about Southwest:

    A feel good (ish) piece from Nevada Current about a local Fillipino Group who are making face shields for healthcare workers

    Twin River has acquired 3 casinos from Eldorado and Caesars for $180 million:

    One of the triggers Governor Sisolak has cited for his reopening the city will be a 14 day decline in cases. That is still not happening.

    In that same blog post, further down, is the news that Sisolak has asked Washoe county to be ready to do 1000 tests a day by Monday. That is a goal they do not seem prepared to meet.
    This is good news that they are working to head in this direction. The sooner they get testing up to speed and begin contact tracing, the sooner Nevada can open for business.

    The Administration has removed the restriction from the PPP program to allow small casinos to file claims.

    The Bulwark had a piece on the "fallacy of reopening America". Not Nevada specific, but some stark observations.
    I'm going to quote the whole part of the piece on Las Vegas. I don't agree with everything he says here about Vegas, as he ignores the large drive in population from CA, but he makes good points.

    LVRJ has a piece about the casinos working on cleaning plans for reopening:
    This is re: Wynn

    Looks like we might get our first test case for a casino opening on May 1st, as the Cour d'Alene Casino in Idaho has announced it's plans to open.
    It will be interesting to watch and see what happens with CdA Casino. Sounds like their plans mimic the ones Vegas has been putting out. The tribe currently has zero cases on their reservation.

    And that's it for now. Thanks everybody!
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  17. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Happy weekend, everybody. Or, at least I think it's the weekend. :confused:

    Here we go...

    Mayor Goodman has decided that if she keeps talking, maybe her bad press will go away. Yesterday afternoon, she released this statement:


    I understand the sentiment she is expressing here, and she's not wrong. Vegas needs tourism to survive. But they also need to not kill tourists to survive. And offering them up as some kind of case study to see if the virus is as bad as science says it is seems short sighted. I don't think she phrased herself well and this is a better attempt to say what she's saying. She is not a scientist and I believe that the heat in Vegas will kill the virus as much as I believe that a time share sales pitch is a good use of your time.

    The Reno Gazette Journal was also critical of her claims about heat:
    Also, it's supposed to get hot in Vegas this week. We can watch and see if the caseload goes down in 95-100 degree temps.

    Caesars Entertainment has announced Caesars Cares, and employee assistance fund:
    If you'd like to see or donate to the program, visit their website at https://www.caesars.com/cares

    I know this won't be of interest to many of you, but I thought it was too good to not share.
    8NewsNow in Vegas has a video of a 32 minute interview with Nevada historian and former KLAS News Director Bob Stoldal about the 1918 flu and Las Vegas. I found a lot of the little details to be very interesting. And plus, since you're stuck at home, you have the 32 minutes to spare. ;)

    Not Vegas, but of interest. A financial analysist from UBS, Disney may not open until 2021.

    Also not Nevada related, this article talks about the danger of blood clots with COVID-19, and how it's killing younger people than expected from strokes usually seen in much older people.

    The Nevada Independent has a Q&A with the Governor:

    Howard Stutz says Get Ready to Wear a Mask if you want to go to a casino

    And Governor Sisolak did an interview with KNPR News:
    It's a 15 minute interview and they cover several topics:

    Mayor Goodman's comments and the reaction of industry people to her comments.

    About reopening the casinos, including wanting to see a 14 day downturn in infections. Test positives will go up as they increase testing. It's the percentage. Right now it's 12-13%, which is high, but probably caused by only testing very sick people. He's more focused on the number of hospitalizations and the number of ICU beds being used. Those are the numbers he wants to see go down before reopening.

    He talked about his concerns about the economy and getting people back to work. He's going to focus on Phase one openings for now. Curbside delivery, opening golf and parks, opening elective surgeries and see how that goes for a couple of weeks and then expand some more. There won't be a flip of a switch, it will be slowly increasing a dial.

    "Everybody is just guessing with these numbers." Then he talks about how people might still be afraid of going out. All these financial estimates are guesses.

    "Gaming Tax and Room Tax will have to resume at some point." It's all unknown at this point.

    Talk about prisons with Coronavirus problems and possibly releasing some prisoners.

    Further funding from the Fed for the States and possible problems with Mitch McConnell's statements about how states should go bankrupt instead.

    When asked about the most difficult part of dealing with this virus, he says it's talking to people who have lost loved ones, or want to visit a dying patient in a nursing home.

    I was also asked to share this article with you all about a plan in the Administration to propose some kind of "liability shield" to prevent businesses for being sued if you contract the coronavirus. They thought it might be something VMBers would want to be aware about when making your travel plans.
    I understand that WaPo is behind a paywall for many of you without a subscription, so here are some other links on the same subject:

    Unless there's some big news, that's it for this weekend. Stay safe! Take care of yourselves, and each other.
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  18. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    Someone pointed out that page three is getting REALLY LONG. I'm going to experiment with breaking up some of the longer posts into topics.

    A story has come out claiming that the first cases of COVID in the US were much earlier, and at CES in Las Vegas.
    I ask people to use some caution about this story. There is a lot of controversy about the antibody tests.

    MGM Resorts has cancelled reservations through May 21st
    When I checked the websites for the MGM properties, many were not accepting reservations before June 1st now, as well.
    And a little snippet about reopening.

    The COVID-19 Task Force for Nevada (headed by former CEO of MGM Resorts, Jim Murren) reported the PPE and cash donations they have received to help.

    Eater Vegas reports they are doing a massive renovation of the Bacchanal Buffet

    ESPN has an optimistic article about whether or not we will see any baseball in 2020:
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  19. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    This morning Governor Sisolak tweeted out that he has joined the Western States Alliance for reopening in the face of Coronavirus.

    Here are his tweets:

    Here's an article from Las Vegas Sun:
    And another from Nevada Current:

    And last in this post, the Reno Gazette Journal has a letter from former governors, a senator and a first lady, giving credit to the good job they feel Governor Sisolak is doing right now.
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  20. Sonya

    Sonya Queen of VMB

    Nov 28, 1999
    Western Washington
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    In this post I'm going to focus on the reopening of Las Vegas.

    First, this article:
    When Will Mississippi Gulf Coast Casinos Open?

    This is another article, not about Vegas, but about one place's plans for opening up. It gives us a look into how quickly, or slowly, it is likely to happen.

    This Vice headline sums it all up:
    The Fun Will Come Last: Reopening Canada Is Gunna Suck

    Ohio's reopening plan, includes everyone wearing masks:

    Sisolak: Nevada shutdown could be extended

    Reopening Las Vegas Too Soon Risks More Than A New Wave Of Infection

    And lastly, I'd like to point you all to this video posted by JoeTall on Twitter.
    He says it is filmed at Margaritaville Resort Casino in Bossier City, LA. But there is a good chance that Las Vegas is looking at these table dividers too.

    I took a few screengrabs from the video for those who don't want to click:



    It's just more indication that when Las Vegas reopens again, whenever that is, it is going to look a lot different from the Las Vegas you saw on your last trip. I have seen a few people here, who are talking about being ready to head back, but also unwilling to wear a mask, get a temperature check, participate in social distancing, or need to see a show or eat a buffet. I hope that you all are reading this and hedging your expectations. I think Vegas is going to be strange for some time to come. Even if they are somehow able to open in the next 2-3 months, it is going to be a very different experience, IMO.

    I'm anxious for things to return to normal again too, but I also have my expectations set very low. I don't think we're going to see any real kind of normalcy until we have a vaccine, or some other way of treating or eradicating this virus.

    That's it for now. Thanks for reading!
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2020
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