Under a new state mandate requiring everyone to wear masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, the CEO of the state’s largest employer urged employees to get vaccinated to avoid possible vacation days and layoffs if the COVID-19 Numbers in Clark County continue to rise and tourism may decline.
Bill Hornbuckle, President and CEO of MGM Resorts, sent a letter to staff on Wednesday urging staff to get vaccinated. “In addition to the heartbreaking thought of more illness and death, I fear that if we continue down this path, gradually more restrictive measures, including a return to social distancing and restraint, may be imminent. This would be a severe blow to our community, industry and economy. „
The state’s newest mandate to require indoor masks goes into effect at 12:01 a.m. on Friday as 12 of 17 counties in Nevada see a new surge in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. As of July 27, only 44.1 percent of Clark County’s residents were fully vaccinated.
„So please get the vaccine asap. It’s safe and it’s effective. If you are still unsure, ask your doctor – the person you trust most to provide sound, professional medical advice regarding the health of you and your family, ”Horbuckle writes in his letter.
Hornbuckle warned that the county’s low vaccination rate could bring new social distancing and capacity limits. „None of us want that,” says Hornbuckle in the letter. „After the pain so many have suffered over the past 16 months – and the tremendous progress made in 2021 – I cannot think of a more damaging scenario for us as a community.”
Clark County lifted capacity limits and social distancing requirements in June after a year of COVID-19 restrictions, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board allowed many casinos to return to 100 percent capacity in May. MGM Resorts hit an 80 percent vaccination rate among its employees in May when barriers at gaming tables and empty chairs between slot machines were removed. MGM Resorts operates the Bellagio, Aria, Park MGM, New York-New York, MGM Grand, Excalibur, Luxor, Mirage, Mandalay Bay and more on the Las Vegas Strip.
MGM Resorts offered an on-site vaccination site at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center that shot thousands of employees, their families, third party partners and entertainers in the guns. Community Ambulance also ran pop-up vaccine clinics at each of MGM Resorts’ Las Vegas hotels. Employees who uploaded their CDC vaccination cards to MGM Resorts’ internal portal entered a raffle to win show tickets, restaurant vouchers, spa vouchers, hotel stays / experiences and cash.
Hornbuckle’s letter comes as the gambling company initiates regular COVID-19 testing for unvaccinated employees who are required to either pay an additional $ 15 for on-site testing or perform a PCR test elsewhere and provide the results. The company requires employees who test positive or are in close contact with someone who has tested positive to be quarantined, and unvaccinated employees are not paid for their time off during the quarantine.
Nevada’s latest COVID-19 numbers bring 1,179 new coronavirus cases and 20 deaths on Tuesday. The state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate hit 14 percent.
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