Time to get Nevada back to work (and play): An open letter to Governor Steve Sisolak By Jeffrey Compton, CDC Gaming Reports April 15, 2020 at 8:00 pm Let me begin, Governor Sisolak, by applauding your past decisions about the COVID-19 pandemic. Though your orders seriously affected almost every business in Nevada, including CDC Gaming Reports, they also saved lives, sharply slowing the spread of the disease and preventing what could have been a severe strain on our state’s healthcare system. Based on the New York Times Coronavirus in the U.S.: Latest Map and Case Count, as of Wednesday, Nevada has had 107 confirmed COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents and 4 related deaths per 100,000 residents. That is well below the average of 186 confirmed cases and 8 deaths per 100,000 residents for the U.S. as a whole. And in Clark County, the rate of increase has dropped significantly: confirmed cases were doubling every 2 days; now the doubling is every 11.5 days. Also, according to covid19.healthdata.org, the worst appears to be in the past for the Silver State. Our peak resource use was on April 8, when the state needed 386 hospital beds, 71 ICU beds, and 63 invasive ventilators – well below the state’s capacity. Entrance to Wynn Las Vegas on the Las Vegas Strip is closed It is now time to focus on our recovery. It will probably take at least a year to get Nevada, and the gaming industry nationally, to being close-to-normal. We should start the process sooner rather than later. Sometime during the first two weeks of May, all Nevada businesses should be invited to re-open, with restrictions. For their first 30 days of operation, temporary occupancy restrictions should be created and enforced. One month should be adequate to see if the state’s progress has been sustained. Casinos, for example, should activate only every other machine (or whatever creates proper social distancing between players), and should limit the number of players sitting at any table. All staff should wear masks, and masks should be available to all players who request one. Also, if and when a tracing system becomes available, all casino team members should be required to put it on their mobile phone, and casinos should pro-actively encourage their customers to do so as well. I am offering these suggestions not so much to save lives – though preventing massive numbers of new COVID-19 cases is critical – as to create environments which customers will feel safe to re-patronize. Decades ago the casino industry led the way in the availability of defibrillators. It will benefit from a similar effort to assure customers that they are protected from COVID-19. And, of course, whatever the state can do to make testing available and convenient for all Nevada residents would be greatly appreciated – not to mention a system where test results are quickly available. Governor Sisolak, you have much more data and expertise available than I do. My strongest and most important request is that whatever reopening plan you decide on, please get that information out to the state as soon as possible. Thousands of Nevada businesses and millions of Nevada residents are staring into a black hole with no clue when this will end, or how. So far you have done a good job of winning the war. Now it’s time to manage the transition to peace. Jeffrey Compton is the publisher of CDC Gaming Reports. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @CDCNewswire on Twitter.