Nevada Gov. Sisolak orders all non-essential businesses to close, releases guidelines |

Nevada Gov. Sisolak orders all non-essential businesses to close, releases guidelines

Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa announced its closure Wednesday.
Bill Rozak / Tahoe Daily Tribune

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak asked for the closure of all non-essential businesses across the state, which includes casinos and all gaming activity.

Sisolak made the announcement Tuesday evening at a press conference in Las Vegas where he emphatically told Nevadans to stay home.

Sisolak said all gaming activity is shutdown effective at midnight and that all establishments should close by noon Wednesday.

Essential businesses — such as grocery stores, pharmacies, hardware stores, gas stations, banks, fire, police, transit, healthcare and social services — are allowed to remain open.

Non-essential businesses should close for 30 days, Sisolak said.

“Additional steps must be taken immediately,” Sisolak said to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Restaurants will be able to provide takeout and delivery service but no in-premise dining will be allowed.

“You are being told not to go out,” Sisolak said and repeated it twice to get his point across.

All gatherings should be canceled – including play dates and weddings.

“It is not a vacation,” Sisolak said, and added that every social contact increases risk.

Sisolak urged Nevadans to register for unemployment online at

“It has become clear that we must take this extreme action to help contain the virus and protect the safety and well-being of our team members and guests,” said Caesars Entertainment CEO Tony Rodio, in a press release Tuesday night and added that the company has a strong liquidity position with more than $2.8 billion of cash on hand. “Caesars is working to ensure a smooth closing process throughout its network and looks forward to welcoming back team members and guests as soon as appropriate. While the company believes its current cash position is more than sufficient to fund its obligations, it is also taking appropriate measures to reduce operating and capital expenses, as necessary.”

Nevada has reported more than 55 cases of the virus so far, including a death. For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

Nevada’s online health insurance exchange announced Tuesday that it had opened a special open enrollment window where people could sign up to get insurance if they don’t have it through an employer, starting Tuesday and running through April 15.

Other states to shut down bars, restaurants include: Florida, North Carolina, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, California, Ohio, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Pennsylvania and Washington — have ordered the closure of bars, restaurants and wineries in their states to stem the spread of the virus.

The state of Nevada has released the following guidelines in the wake of an order from Gov. Steve Sisolak to close non-essential businesses for 30 days.


Essential services and sectors include, but are not limited to:

• Fire services, law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services & public safety agencies

• Healthcare services

• Businesses or organizations that provide food, shelter, or critical social services for disadvantaged populations

• Utilities as defined in NRS Chapter 704

• Trash collection

• Home maintenance/repair services

• Auto repair services & trucking service centers

• Grocery stores, supermarkets, hardware stores, convenience & discount stores

• Pharmacies, healthcare operations, & biomedical facilities

• Post offices & shipping outlets

• Gas stations & truck stops

• Banks & financial institutions

• Veterinary services & pet stores

• Laundromats & dry cleaners

• Food processing

• Agriculture, livestock & feed mills

• Logistics & Supply Chain Operations: Warehousing, storage, distribution, and supply-chain related operations

• Public transportation

• Air transportation

• Essential stays in hotels, commercial lodging, dormitories, shelters, and homeless encampments

• Child care centers and daycares operating in accordance with requirements set forth by their licensing authorities and COVID-19 guidance

Although these businesses may remain open, the Nevada Health Response Center maintains that all employees and patrons employ strict social distancing practices. In addition, businesses should:

• Remind employees of best hygiene practices, including washing their hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

• Increase the frequency of cleaning and sanitizing per CDC Environmental Cleaning and Disinfection guidance of all hard surfaces, including tables and countertops that are being utilized by employees and patrons during pickup/delivery options.

Other businesses, including but not limited to legal services, business and management consulting, professional services and insurance services are encouraged to have employees work remotely or telecommute.

If that is not possible, they should employ strict social distancing practices as set forth by the Nevada Health Response Center and the CDC.

Non-essential services and sectors include, but are not limited to:

• Entertainment & hospitality, including but not limited to strip clubs and brothels, casinos, concert venues, arenas, auditoriums, stadiums, large conference rooms, meeting halls, and cafeterias

• Recreation and athletic facilities, including but not limited to community and recreation centers, gyms, health clubs, fitness centers, yoga, barre and spin facilities

• Beauty and personal care services and facilities, including but not limited to barber shops, beauty, tanning, waxing hair salons, and nail salons and spas

• Retail facilities, including shopping malls except for pharmacy or other healthcare facilities within retail operations. Retailers are encouraged to continue online operations with pickup and delivery.


The Governor directed all restaurants and bars to close their dine-in facilities to help stop the spread of COVID-19. Businesses that offer carry-out, delivery, and drive- through food and beverage service may continue to do so, but eating and drinking inside restaurants and bars is temporarily prohibited. These businesses offering carry- out, delivery, and drive-through food and beverage should employ strict social distancing protocol. Additional information is below:

• Charitable food distribution sites, including the meals being distributed to our students in wake of the school closings, along with grocery stores, should remain fully open and operational.

• Food services for healthcare facilities and other essential facilities should remain open.

• Any buffet or food stations used in charitable food distribution settings should transition to boxed meals or served through gloved staff members or volunteers.

• Restaurants throughout Nevada, in addition to pubs, wineries, bars, and breweries that include meals provided by a full kitchen should be reduced to serving food only in a drive-thru, take-out or delivery capacity. No dine-in at food establishments should be allowed until further notice. This also includes food courts, coffee shops, catered events, clubs, bowling alleys, and other similar venues in which people congregate for the consumption of food.

• Pubs, wineries, bars, and breweries that do not include meals provided by a full kitchen should close.

For the food establishments allowed to remain open, you should:

• Immediately increase sanitizing and cleaning frequency of high contact areas — such as restrooms.

• Enforce stringent hygiene practices for your staff, including frequent and thorough hand washing for at least 20 seconds at a time.


The Governor announced that all gaming machines, devices, tables, games, and any equipment related to gaming activity will be shut down. Restaurants and bars located within gaming properties will be subject to the same restrictions as those outside of gaming establishments.


Licensed cannabis stores and medical dispensaries should only remain open if employees and consumers strictly adhere to the social distancing protocol. The Nevada Health Response Center is encouraging consumers to use delivery services and not congregate in stores.


Nevadans must ensure that 6 feet of social distancing per person for non-household members is maintained at all times.

Examples of activities to avoid:

• Group gatherings

• Sleepovers

• Concerts and theater outings

• Playdates

• Athletic events

• Visitors in your house

• Non-essential workers in your house

• Shopping in malls

• Workouts in gyms

Initiative parameters on gatherings:

All gatherings should be postponed or canceled.

For purposes of this Initiative, a “gathering” is any event or convening that brings people together in a single room or single space at the same time – indoor or outdoor.

When it comes to gatherings, the risk is based on the proximity between individuals and how they are interacting with one another. The risk does not disappear in small gatherings. It’s the social distancing that will make the difference.

• We still want you to experience the joy of weddings, but this is not the time to bring your friends together — especially if this will require travel. Consider postponing the celebration to a time when the risk is low or eliminated.

• For Nevadans making preparations to say goodbye to loved ones, please limit the attendance at funeral services. Consider outdoor services where the risk of exposure is less than inside.

• While the Governor cannot and will not say that places of worship should be closed, he strongly urges our faith leaders to find ways to tend to your congregation without bringing them together in person.

More Like This, Tap A Topic

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.