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Wynn says vaccinated people can ditch masks at Nevada casinos

Wynn Las Vegas remains closed due to the statewide shutdown due to the continued spread of the coronavirus on April 27, 2020 in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Ethan Miller | Getty Images

In a rapid pivot, Wynn Las Vegas changed its rules for masks after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released new guidelines on Thursday indicating that people who received the coronavirus vaccine do not need to wear masks outside or inside.

In a press release on Friday, the company said it would communicate CDC guidelines to its clients Encore and Wynn that they are required to wear a mask if they are not vaccinated.

Importantly, the casino will not check the vaccination status.

“The resort trusts customers to take the appropriate precautions based on their personal immunization status,” Wynn Las Vegas said in a statement.

However, the company will require proof of vaccination from its employees before they can put away their masks. The company said 91% of its employees had already received their vaccines.

“Last night we saw an increase in the number of unvaccinated employees remaining looking for vaccination options,” said Michael Weaver, a spokesperson for Wynn Resorts.

The change was made possible because the Nevada Gaming Control Board, which sets the rules for casinos, moved quickly to update their rules. It will not require or prohibit casinos from asking for proof of vaccination. He also said casinos can set rules on masks that are more restrictive than CDC guidelines.

Wynn CEO Matt Maddox was one of the first to adopt Covid safety precautions and publicly released a detailed plan to deal with the spread. Under the direction of an infectious disease expert, the company has set up testing and vaccination sites for its employees. In April, Maddox gave employees the choice to get vaccinated or have weekly drug tests. As a result, worker vaccination rates have soared.

Now Wynn and Encore are joining other Las Vegas casinos operating at 100% occupancy, as now licensed, and they’ve removed all plexiglass dividers from table games and slots.

According to the CDC, approximately 58.9% of American adults have received at least one dose of the vaccine and 45.6% of people over 18 are fully vaccinated.

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