90°F
weather icon Cloudy

Sisolak lets conventions drop mask mandate if vaccination required

CARSON CITY – Gov. Steve Sisolak on Thursday added large conventions to the list of permitted indoor gatherings that can go maskless if sponsors require all attendees to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

The expanded exception, effective in counties with elevated risk of disease spread, “gives an option for convention organizers to choose between requiring masks indoors for all attendees, regardless of vaccination status, or ensuring that all attendees are vaccinated, in which case fully vaccinated attendees can remove their masks,” said a statement from the governor’s office.

An exception for large venues, such a stadiums and concert halls, was initially granted last month. As with the earlier measure, the latest edict is not a requirement to show proof of vaccination but instead an option for convention sponsors.

Masks will not be required for those fully vaccinated if the convention will host 4,000 or more attendees, requires pre-registration, and lasts for a set period. Such events will be open only to those who register in advance.

Per the directive, the convention sponsor must maintain access control to prevent unregistered or unauthorized persons from entering or attending the convention and require proof of at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination for every attendee. Those failing to provide proof must be turned away.

Convention sponsors also must be able to verify vaccination status and hire enough staff to handle the verification process. They may admit partially-vaccinated attendees but those attendees must remain masked, and they must implement a system to distinguish between fully and partially vaccinated attendees and those who, due to age, are not eligible to be vaccinated.

Finally, they must submit an exception certification from the state Department of Business and Industry and applicable local health authority.

Convention interests on Thursday welcomed the state’s revised guidance.

“The governor’s updated directive is a great option for our trade show producers, their exhibitors and attendees,” said Lori Nelson-Kraft, a spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Three trade shows planning to meet at the Las Vegas Convention Center already have stated publicly that they will require registered attendees to have started the vaccination process. They include the National Association of Broadcasters and the National Business Aviation Association in October, and CES in January.

Global Gaming Expo, meeting in October at the Venetian Expo, also will require participants to be vaccinated.

Amanda Belarmino, an assistant professor at the William F. Harrah College of Hospitality at UNLV, said Thursday that the governor’s directive may lead to the appearance of more normal operations in the meetings industry.

“The governor’s directive helps to communicate to both convention organizers and guests that we take their safety and health seriously, but we still value and welcome them to our city,” Belarmino said.

“For Las Vegas, conventions are truly the key to returning to normal. There is no place with a better combination of facilities, entertainment, and dining for convention attendees than Las Vegas,” she said. “With the ability to choose between mask mandates or vaccination requirements, the governor is allowing a level of flexibility for our conventions, especially since we don’t truly know the trajectory of the variants in the coming year.”

THE LATEST
Back to school: Where to get free supplies & essentials

It’s not always easy for families to afford everything that’s needed, particularly with inflation putting an additional pinch on parents’ pockets.

‘Buy in Nye’ awarded for helping 17 homeowners

The Buy in Nye homeownership program provided nearly $3.9 million in affordable mortgages and $288,000 in down-payment assistance to 17 Nye County families.

Solar recycling project denied

Along with the boom in solar energy generation projects, solar recycling is becoming more prevalent, resulting in companies looking to expand their operations to accommodate the new industry. One company, i-Quest Inc., was hoping to bring its own operations to the Pahrump Valley but Nye County commissioners shot down the idea at the board’s most recent meeting.

GALLERY: Winners from this year’s 4th of July Parade

A special ceremony was held this week to bestow the awards upon those organizations that took home top honors in this year’s Fourth of July Parade, sponsored by the Pahrump Holiday Task Force in partnership with the Pahrump Disability Outreach Program.

GALLERY: Helen Keller Days raises $2k for local Federation of the Blind Chapter

The 2nd Annual Helen Keller Days took place with members of the Southern Nye County Chapter of the Federation of the Blind coming together with community supporters for an afternoon of fun and excitement, all in the name of fundraising.

 
Biden tests positive for COVID, shortens Vegas trip

President Joe Biden pulled out of a speech before the nation’s largest Latino organization after he tested positive for COVID-19.

Help ‘empty the shelters’ — adopt a pet

Created in 2011, by Cathy Bissell, the Bissell Pet Foundation has made a positive impact in the lives of roughly more than 775,000 dogs and cats across the country.

Pahrump delegate: Trump-Vance ticket a ‘good blend’

President Donald Trump announced on social media that he has chosen Sen. J.D. Vance of Ohio as his running mate in the 2024 election.