Gov. Steve Sisolak is lifting the limits on public gatherings in Nevada from 50 people to 250 in churches and other venues.
He said Tuesday evening larger gatherings also will be allowed in event centers that have fixed seating for more than 2,500 people, “under very strict guidelines.”
He said venues including Thomas & Mack and Lawlor Events Center as well as major centers like T-Mobile which seats 20,000 could hold events up to 10 percent of their fixed seating capacity. But in those gatherings, attendees would be divided into sections of no more than 250 people and have controls in place to prevent people from moving from one section to another. Venue staff also would be required to work in just one 250-person section with controls to prevent people from coming and going between those sections.
He emphasized that the 250-person limit for events and church gatherings does not count those working at the event.
He said the same controls would apply at conventions, conferences and trade shows.
Sisolak said the controls are designed to prevent “cross mingling” by people attending the events or working at them.
He said live entertainment can resume under the same tough restrictions with 250 person limits and social distancing as well as wearing masks and sanitation.
He said this is a significant step toward revitalizing Nevada’s hospitality industry under the strongest conditions in the nation.
He said Nevada is setting up rules to make the state the gold standard for restoring the hospitality industry and urged those planning conventions, conferences and other events to look carefully at what the state is doing compared to some other states that are just throwing open the doors and inviting people back.
“I assure you today is only the first step in getting back to our new normal,” he said. “Nevada is not only open for business, we are focusing on the long term, providing a safe experience, doing it responsibly.
“We will be the safest destination to bring your customers, employees and families,” he said.
He said it is now up to local governments to decide how much more freedom they want to give to the use of playgrounds and parks.
He said the new and more relaxed rules take effect Oct. 1.
He added that one new rule for all businesses and events centers is they must post their 50 percent capacity limit on all entrances, preferably in both English and Spanish.
Sisolak said he is confident Nevada is past the potential surge from Labor Day parties but that the jury is still out on the two major rallies President Trump held in the state. But he said in Washoe County, whether the recent increase in virus cases and transmission is because of those rallies or because of parties by UNR students is still unknown. The problem, he said, is that finding out relies on contact tracing and that people have to volunteer whether they went to a party or one of the rallies and some don’t.
Finally, he promised to have some guidance for people on Halloween trick-or-treating in the very near future. He also said an update to high school sports would be provided in “seven to 10 days.”