Las Vegas. [AFP]. A handful of tourists take photos of the sign welcoming “fabulous Las Vegas,” desolate since hotels and casinos closed their doors in mid-March for the coronavirus.
But behind that chilling tranquility, there is a tense divide over what the future and survival of the gambling capital should be, just as Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak decided to extend the confinement order until May 15.
The big question in the meantime is what to do to safely reopen these gigantic casinos where before the pandemic hit, players stood shoulder to shoulder at the card, roulette and craps tables, and lined up in front of slot machines.
Among the options, it is considered to put sheets of plexiglass to separate the players and the dealer, and to take the temperature of the clients in the income.
The Culinary union, which represents 60,000 casino and hotel workers in Las Vegasconsiders that these types of measures to guarantee distance must be applied from restaurants to elevators, and that personnel must have protective equipment such as masks and gloves.
“Extra cleaning and disinfection will be needed”, the union secretary and treasurer, Geoconda Arguella-Kline, told AFP.
Although 98% of the Culinary members lost their jobs, they support the extension of the confinement: 12 of their members died from the COVID-19.
In Nevada, the total deaths are 243, less than the 289 recorded between Thursday and Friday in the battered state of New York.
“I know it is hard for peopleArguella-Kline said of the measure. “But if you lose your life, you lost the most important thing”.
Not everyone agrees. Mayor Carolyn Goodman calls the closure “crazy” and has called for the city to be reopened.
“Las Vegas is in a unique economic crisis“He insisted last week.
Jim Marsh, an on-site business owner, argues that beyond when casinos can open, taking distance measures could be too costly.
“If it increases the expenses too much, we could remain closed”, he explained. “You can’t have people sitting a meter away in a bar and make money.”
“I have live entertainment seven nights a week, but the band members are close to each other, and the stage is very close to the bar.“He added. “I would have to get rid of that.”
Tim Brooks, owner of the Emerald Island casino in neighboring Henderson, ruled out any plans that may be invasive for his clients.
“I don’t want to take the temperature of everyone who enters through the doors, we don’t have medical training”, he pointed. “When it’s 40, 41 degrees outside in the summer, how do you determine who really has a fever?”
David Schwartz, game historian at Las Vegas, He indicated that nobody really knows what the reopening of the city will be like, with its nightclubs, full pools and buffets.
“No matter when they open, the question is how many visitors will return?”, he stressed, referring for example to international travel restrictions. “We will have to adapt, but I don’t know what to do.”
Brooks is disappointed by the extent of the confinement ordered by Sisolak. He had already sent 131 of his 166 leave employees and believes the move will force him to get rid of more workers. “There are a limited number of gates to polish.”
So far, more than 350,000 people have applied for unemployment insurance in Nevada.
Bob Aquino, 66, a restaurant manager at Brooks Casino, was fortunate to do so. His wife was fired from the local chamber of commerce, losing her health insurance, and is unlikely to be rehired.
“Without this, I would be in a corner with a sign that says ‘I will work for food.'” express. “I would say to the governor:‘ Open Nevada, let’s go back to work. It’s enough'”.
What is the coronavirus?
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), the coronavirus They are a wide family of viruses that can cause different conditions, from the common cold to more serious diseases, such as Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS-CoV) and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS-CoV).
The coronavirus recently discovered causes infectious disease by coronavirus COVID-19. Both were detected after the outbreak that occurred in Wuhan (China) in December 2019.
Fatigue, fever and dry cough are the most common symptoms of COVID-19; however, some patients may experience nasal congestion, pain, runny nose, sore throat, or diarrhea.
Although the majority of patients (about 80%) recover from the disease without the need for any special treatment, about one in six people who contract the disease COVID-19 You develop a serious condition and have trouble breathing.
To protect yourself and prevent the spread of the disease, the WHO recommends washing your hands with soap and water or using an alcohol-based disinfectant that kills viruses that may be on your hands. In addition, a minimum distance of one meter should be maintained in front of anyone who sneezes or coughs, because if you are too close, you can breathe the droplets that harbor the virus of the COVID-19.
How long does coronavirus survive on a surface?
It is not yet known exactly how long this new virus survives on a surface, but it seems to behave like others. coronavirus.
Studies indicate that they can survive from a few hours to several days. The time may vary depending on the conditions (type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment).
The Merchant will maintain with free access all its informative content on the coronavirus.
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