LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the COVID-19 vaccine rollout continues in Nevada, many hospitality workers feel lift in limbo.
Hospitality and food service workers on the Las Vegas Strip often have to closely interact with visitors. Many say the COVID-19 vaccine would give them some peace of mind — but it is still unclear when they can get it.
“It’s upsetting and there’s a lot of us in this city that do this,” said Julie Greco, a server at Slice of Vegas inside the Shoppes at Mandalay Place.
Greco and many other workers on the Las Vegas Strip are still waiting to get the COVID-19 vaccine — and it is something they desperately want.
“Just to have that safety blanket,” Greco said. “I would really appreciate that.”
Greco says she would feel more comfortable at work after getting vaccinated, because a large chunk of customers travel from out of town, and the interactions between the employees and patrons are face-to-face.
“In order to be able to hear somebody that I’m serving, being six feet away is hard, so I feel like we’re a little bit closer than some other professions,” Greco said. “I’m a little scared to come to work sometimes.”
Heidi Glassman is the Special Events Manager with Titan Brands, which runs Slice of Vegas. She says with more business due to loosening restrictions, protection from the virus is crucial right now.
“It would just be great if we could all just be 100 percent safe, get the vaccine and be able to just do our job,” Glassman said. “It’s very vague of when we’re getting it.”
According to the State of Nevada’s vaccination playbook, food service and hospitality workers are in the next eligible group, falling under the “frontline commerce and service industries” category. But in a statement to 8 News Now, the Southern Nevada Health District said: “We don’t have a set timeline at this point and would not be able to provide additional information at this time.”
Some employers, such as The Juice Standard at the Cosmopolitan, are encouraging their workers to try and get on vaccine waitlists, in order to get immunized now.
“Just to see if that was an option, if they do have end of day doses that are going to go to waste, because no dose should go to waste,” said Marcella Williams, Co-Founder of The Juice Standard. “If we can vaccinate one more person, then it’s worth it.”
Greco says hospitality workers are the lifeblood of Las Vegas.
“We are the economy of the city,” Greco said.
And when she does become eligible, Greco will jump at the opportunity to get the COVID-19 vaccine.
“I’ll be one of the first people calling,” Greco said.
Hospitality workers add that with capacity limits set to increase to 50 percent on March 15, they hope they can start getting vaccinated before that.