FILE - In this June 4, 2020 file photo, a man plays craps at the reopening of the Bellagio hotel and casino.
LAS VEGAS — Nevada casinos are now requiring gamblers and spectators to wear protective face coverings at table games that have no barriers.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday updated its health and safety policy required for the reopening of casinos, tightening rules for gamblers sitting down to play.
"Licensees must require patrons to wear face coverings at table and card games if there is no barrier, partition, or shield between the dealer and each player," the board said in a statement. "This requirement applies to table and card game players, spectators, and any other person within 6 feet of any table or card game."
The new rule applies to players of blackjack, roulette, craps, poker and other table games and all casino employees. Masks aren't required of other casino patrons, including slot machine players, but casinos are required to offer and encourage masks.
Most casino workers have the ability to move around their properties, but dealers are confined to one location for an hour at a time and are exposed to hundreds of people every day, Control Board Chairwoman Sandra Morgan said.
"We were at least able to agree that face coverings (were needed) at table games, if there's not going to be Plexiglas or any other kind of barrier," she said. "The lack of individual patron responsibility is disappointing to say the least. So we have to do at least what we can to ensure that the gaming employees have some protection as well."
Casinos across the state began reopening June 4 after being closed since March to slow the spread of the coronavirus.
Other precautions include seating limits at tables with three players at blackjack, four at roulette and poker and six at craps.
Southern Nevada Health District officials have recorded 161 new COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths in Clark County on Wednesday over the preceding day. The county now has had 9,318 cases, and 386 deaths.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.