LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — All people should wear masks indoors, according to a new recommendation released Friday by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD).

Whether you have been vaccinated or not, SNHD recommends wearing a mask “in crowded indoor public places where they may have contact with others who are not fully vaccinated.”

The recommendation falls short of the mask mandate issued this week in Los Angeles County, but could be a sign that a mandate could be the next step.

The SNHD advice is already producing reactions as some casinos go back to requiring employees to wear masks. The Venetian and the Westgate were among the first to make changes.

In response to new recommendations from the Southern Nevada Health District,  we now require that all Team Members (vaccinated or not) wear company-issued face masks while working in indoor public spaces, and in indoor areas where people congregate.  In addition, we have revised our signs posted at public entrances to share this new SNHD recommendation.  Complimentary face masks are available to our guests at Front Desks, Grazie Desks, and Concierge Desks.   

The Venetian

The Westgate also made a change: “Yes, we have internally implemented masks for team members to keep our team and guests as safe as possible,” according to an official there. “There is no change on our mask policy for guests.”

According to an SNHD statement:

“Using masks correctly has proven to be effective in helping to prevent people from getting and spreading COVID-19. With the rise in cases and slowing vaccine rates in Clark County, the Health District’s recommendation to wear masks in crowded public settings, including grocery stores, malls, large events, and casinos, is a step to fully utilize the tools we have available to stop the pandemic.”

COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been growing steadily, and Clark County is on a White House “watch list” as a “sustained hotspot” for the virus.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak underscored the importance of taking the recommendation seriously in a tweet.

.@SNHDinfo is recommending everyone wear masks in crowded indoor settings due to the increase in cases in Clark County. I urge residents & visitors to take this seriously & follow the recommendation for the health of our community & State.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak

SNHD continues to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated.

“The COVID-19 vaccine is the most important and effective step people can take to protect themselves and others from COVID-19. Additionally, people who are sick should stay home and get tested if they have symptoms related to COVID-19. People who are unvaccinated and have taken part in activities that put them at higher risk for COVID-19, such as traveling or attending mass gatherings should also get tested,” the SNHD news release said.