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Many businesses can now operate at 50% capacity under new COVID-19 guidelines


The Regional COVID-19 Information Center has provided guidance for Washoe County residents and businesses about Gov. Steve Sisolak’s update on Nevada’s COVID-19 response efforts and the state’s  mitigation measures that went into effect today.

Starting March 15, businesses and venues may operate at 50% of fire code capacity or with 250 individuals, whichever is smaller. Also, plans can be submitted to the state to allow large gatherings.

Under the governor’s Emergency Directive 041, if an organizer wants to host a large gathering or event, including conferences, conventions and trade shows, with more than 250 people they may now have up to 50% capacity if they complete and submit a Large Gathering COVID-19 Preparedness & Safety Plan Certification Form (“Large Gathering Certification”) to the Department of Business and Industry.

The list of businesses that can now operate at 50% capacity is extensive and includes:

  1. Libraries, museums, art galleries, aquariums and zoos
  2. Retail stores and indoor malls
  3. Dispensaries
  4. Community and recreational centers, including public pools
  5. Restaurants, bars, pubs, wineries, distilleries and breweries
  6. Places of worship
  7. Gyms, and fitness, yoga, dance and martial arts studios
  8. Casino floors
  9. Arcades, racetracks, bowling alleys, mini-golf locations, pool halls and amusement and theme parks

Some businesses will also have to continue following the guidelines established by their applicable regulatory bodies including spas, massage therapy businesses, hair salons, barber shops, nail salons, tattoo and piercing shops and estheticians.

Youth and adult sports tournaments can take place if they have submitted and had approved a Preparedness and Safety Plan to their respective state authorities.

Businesses that will remain closed through at least May 1 include adult entertainment establishments like strip clubs and brothels, dayclubs and nightclubs. Karaoke also remains forbidden for the time being.

Beginning on May 1, it is expected that local jurisdictions will take over control for managing much of COVID-19 mitigation and restrictions surrounding things ranging from public gatherings to the operations of bars, restaurants and other businesses—as well as places of worship. Control over guidelines for dispensaries and casinos will fall to those industries’ respective regulatory bodies.  

Statewide directions concerning social distancing and face masks will remain in place even after this happens.

For more information on State COVID-19 directives, visit the Nevada COVID-19 Response website.

Source: Washoe County Regional Information Center

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