Clark County Bars Back Open For Business

LAS VEGAS, NV (AP) - For the first time in more than two months, bars that don't serve food in Clark County were allowed to reopen.

Starting at 11:59pm on Sunday, bars in and around Las Vegas were allowed to open with limited capacity, distance between customers and facial coverings all around. The move followed a decision Thursday by the Nevada coronavirus response task force. 

The panel decided that drinking establishments could also reopen in Elko County, as well.

The votes by the COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force relieved a hot-button issue and relaxed the last of the bar closure orders that Gov. Steve Sisolak re-imposed July 10 to limit social gatherings where alcohol is served in coronavirus pandemic hot spots around the state.

Sisolak issued a statement crediting people and businesses for 10 weeks of hard work resulting in “COVID-19 data trending in a positive direction, allowing the task force to lift restrictions on bars in counties that previously had ... (high) transmission risk levels.”

Taverns, bars, breweries, distilleries and wineries were allowed to reopen overnight Wednesday-to-Thursday in the Reno-Sparks area, following a previous task force decision.

Nightclubs and other entertainment venues remain closed, although Sisolak said Wednesday he will review coronavirus directives including a 50-person cap on public gatherings and a 50% capacity limit at businesses including casinos. The outcome could affect everything from church congregations to business meetings to political rallies.

Clark County Commission Chairwoman Marilyn Kirkpatrick and Fire Chief John Steinbeck told the task force that officials were watching for unregulated gatherings and any uptick in diagnosed cases of COVID-19 following reports of Labor Day weekend gatherings at homes and other places where people congregated.

Task force chief Caleb Cage asked for a report at the panel’s September 24 meeting about what he called “interventions that could be used in the future if there is a considerable spike.”