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Large event organizers will have the option to hold mask-free events in Nevada for fully vaccinated attendees, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Monday evening.
Face masks are currently required in indoor public spaces across much of the state, including Las Vegas, Reno and Lake Tahoe. The CDC recommends vaccinated people wear masks indoors in public where COVID transmission rates are high.
"This gives an option for event organizers to choose between requiring masks indoors for all attendees regardless of vaccination status, or making the choice to only allow vaccinated individuals into their events and letting the fully vaccinated take their masks off," Sisolak said at a press conference.
"We're giving our private sector partners the choices and flexibility to lead," he added.
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Guidelines for mask-free events include:
Children under 12, who are not eligible for the vaccine, may enter the event venue but must wear a mask.
Individuals who are partially vaccinated may enter the event venue but must wear a mask.
The venue must have a fixed seating capacity of 4,000 or more.
The event must have tickets and/or registration and be open only to those with tickets/registration.
Event operators must maintain access control to prevent unauthorized people from attending the event.
Event operators must have a method of verifying vaccination statuses.
Event operators must have a system in place to distinguish between fully vaccinated and partially vaccinated attendees.
There must be sufficient number of trained staff to implement this program.
Event operators have to enforce masks for partially vaccinated attendees.
If someone fails to provide proof of the COVID-19 vaccination, they must not be allowed to enter the venue.
"The vaccine is our solution," Sisolak said when he last addressed the public on Aug. 5. "In Nevada, almost every COVID death has been in the case of someone who's not fully vaccinated."
On Monday, he said Nevada's rate of vaccination has increased and is now nearly 20 percent higher than the national average.
Kristin Oh is a public safety reporter for the Reno Gazette Journal. She can be reached at email@example.com or at 775-420-1285.
Contributing: Eve Chen, USA TODAY
This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: Nevada waives mask requirement for big events with vaccine mandates