Mask confusion: Las Vegas restaurants vary in details of following CDC guidance

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — While other retailers like Target, Walmart and even Costco will follow CDC guidelines, many people aren’t sure what to do when they go to restaurants.

Some restaurant owners are relying on an honor system.

At Gaetano’s Ristorante on Eastern Avenue near St. Rose Parkway, people who are vaccinated have taken off their masks. And some are still keeping masks on.

The restaurant’s owners are trusting their customers when they decide they are ready to dine in.

Owner Nicholas Palmeri says Gaetano’s has gone above and beyond to make sure employees and guests are safe, making sure to follow all regulations from the Southern Nevada Health District and the CDC.

“For example, our employees that are vaccinated, they do not have to wear a mask,” Palmeri said.

“Majority of my employees have been with me for seven-plus years and they are like family,” he said.

With the new mask guidelines, this past weekend was definitely a test of what people are comfortable with. Palmeri says some guests still wore masks. Others had them off.

He hopes they are being safe.

Bryan Wachter of the Retail Association of Nevada, released this statement:

We saw the best success when it came to implementation of COVID regulations when all of our governments were giving clear and concise direction. With the latest CDC guidance regarding the rollback of the mask requirement, our local governments have not been able to get in front of these new expectations, resulting in conflicting policies and enforcement at the state, local and individual retailer levels.

Technically, the law of the land as of today in Clark County is that masks are still required until the County Commission says differently. It is the position of the Retail Association of Nevada that COVID-19 guidelines should follow the science; it’s time to move away from masks now that the vaccines have significantly reduced transmission rates. We hope that Nevada’s local governments will quickly update their guidelines to match the CDC’s recommendation and end the confusion.

Bryan Wachter

Rodrigo Ibarra, vice president of Don Tortaco, says they are still unsure of the best protocol to take.

Customers want to know what to expect — are their favorite restaurants following what other restaurants are doing? Relying on an honor system?

Both restaurant owners said they didn’t necessarily see more revenue this past weekend, but they did notice more people out and enjoying themselves.

Smith’s Food and Drug had this today after our recent report on policies at various retailers:

At this time, The Kroger Family of Companies continues to require everyone in our stores to wear masks. We are encouraging and incentivizing associate vaccinations by offering a $100 one-time payment to associates who receive the recommended doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. As we have throughout the pandemic, we are reviewing current safety practices, the CDC’s latest guidance, and soliciting feedback from associates to guide the next phase of our policy. 

Additionally, we continue to encourage everyone to practice social distancing and frequent hand washing as well as consider the use of no-touch grocery delivery or low-contact grocery pickup.

Smith’s Food and Drug

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