Employees on the Las Vegas casino floor are taking steps secretly this week to minimise the risk of possible coronavirus germs infecting players or staff. Examples include how card decks are reported to be shredded or cleaned routinely, and disinfecting slot machines more frequently.
Casino workers are frontline soldiers in the fight to suppress any possible COVID 19 transmission. Hotels and casinos provide few details on preparations if a Las Vegas outbreak happens.
But this week KTNV television station crews visited a variety of casinos. They announced that in recent weeks, the Wynn has doubled the number of staff who apply disinfectant to slot machines.
Gaming tables were covered with hand sanitiser. Dealers use the alcohol-based cleaner regularly before playing games.
At a gaming floor bar, a bartender said he was cleaning counters every 20-30 minutes. That’s more often than what was usual before the Coronavirus scare.
Cleaning of doors, handles, counters, and toilets in bathrooms is accessible 24/7 at the Palazzo and Venetian, KTNV said. Also, regular cleaning of walls and escalator rails.
There are hand sanitiser dispensers placed inside tables. Every few days decks of cards get shredded, KTNV said.
Workers at the Mirage and at Treasure Island have also told the TV station that cleaning is more frequent at those properties. Sporadically, there are a few tourists and players wearing protective face masks along the Strip.
Anthony Curtis, founder of LasVegasAdvisor.com, told the Reno Gazette-Journal on the basis of visits to undisclosed venues in Las Vegas this week, “People are completely bonkers nervous about this.
“I stopped at 3 bars. Each had one or two patrons,” the Gazette-Journal quoted Curtis. “I talked to the bartenders, and asked,’ Is this what is going on here? No one is sure.’
There are two positive cases of coronavirus in Nevada as of Saturday, health officials told local media. One is an unidentified man from Clark County in his 50s who recently travelled to the state of Washington and Texas. The other is a man from the Reno-area who had been a passenger on a cruise ship recently.
A third case involves a man from Toronto in his 40s who visited Las Vegas to attend a conference late February, KSNV reported. In a statement the Southern Nevada Health District said it is unclear whether the infection formed while he was in the state.
Whether he was using local buses while in Las Vegas is also unclear. Before being diagnosed, he used the municipal transportation in Toronto for three days.
Of those in Nevada who wish to get coronavirus tested, there are two licenced laboratories where samples are processed. These are UNR’s Nevada State Public Health Laboratory and the Southern Nevada Public Health Laboratory, according to Las Vegas Sun.
When asked about the possible economic effect of coronavirus on Las Vegas, Stephen M. Miller, a professor of economics at UNLV, where he also directs the Center for Business and Economic Research, told the Gazette-Journal, “If coronavirus sticks around for three months — a quarter of the year — it would have a significant effect on visitors, taxable sales, gaming revenue, and employment in the hospitality sector.”
Room rates have dropped more than 10 per cent in Las Vegas so far, the newspaper reported. A few big conferences have recently been cancelled, though cleanings have been stepped up at McCarran International Airport.
But there’s still a sense of optimism, especially at the start of the year with the relatively strong economy, analysts told the Gazette-Journal. Even if the area of Las Vegas gets impacted during a predicted coronavirus uptick, a rapid rebound is expected.
“Vegas was hit really hard with the recession, but Vegas didn’t close,” the newspaper quoted Anthony Curtis when remembering the recent history. “Vegas survives everything.”