Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman believes the media’s coronavirus coverage is hurting Las Vegas and worrisome Americans.
At the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority board meeting on Tuesday, Goodman let her thoughts on the excessive media coverage be known, and even made a cross-reference President Franklin Delano Roosevelt:
“In 1933, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘There is nothing to fear but fear itself,’” Goodman reportedly told the board. “This fear has taken over the world and if you look and talk to doctors, I have yet to see a doctor who espouses the voice of social media and what the media is doing here.”
Las Vegas Review-Journal editor, Glen Cook, has a different stance. He believes the more information that’s presented to the public, the less fear-based confusion and pandemonium it causes:
“During times like this, the public needs as much information as possible,” Cook said. “It is the absence of information that causes panic and confusion.”
National State of Emergency
On Friday, President Trump declared the coronavirus outbreak a national emergency at the Rose Garden press conference.
With the official declaration made, Trump says nearly $50 billion will be freed up to help states and cities across the United State battle the outbreak.
During the press conference, Trump asked every hospital in the U.S. to activate their emergency preparedness procedures.
With the President declaring the outbreak a national emergency, it’s unsure whether that will cause individual states to call a state emergency. In regards to declaring Nevada in a state of emergency, Goodman says “when it’s appropriate and when the facts – when the truth is there – that will happen.”
Las Vegas Tourists and Residents React to Outbreak
Currently, there are five confirmed cases of coronavirus in Clark County.
One of the most recent victims is a woman in her 40s from New York, who stayed at the Mirage for the Women of Power Summit on March 5.
Visitors’ reactions to the outbreak in Clark County have been mixed. For some, they’re going about their regular Vegas itinerary despite worries that surface in their minds. For others, they fear Strip operators aren’t doing enough to keep facilities clean and are keeping their distance.
Goodman continued that Las Vegas operations would otherwise be “closed down” if they weren’t enacting the proper safety measurements.
“From my perspective, what’s happened is this fear that’s taken over,” Goodman said while touching on the importance of healthy, routine hygiene habits.
One thing is clear, however, and that’s that tourism in Sin City has dropped within the last week. From MGM Resorts temporarily shutting down their buffets, to room rates dropping dramatically, The Las Vegas Strip is looking a lot more quiet than usual.
On Friday morning, there were more cleaning personnel spotted on parts of Las Vegas Blvd. than there were actual tourists.
Las Vegas Residents React
In face of the coronavirus scare, Las Vegas residents have been emptying shelves in local grocery stores to stock up. Some stores are seeing lines of customer wrap around their buildings, but it’s not stopping people from wanting to buy necessities.
As a result, Costco and Targets in the valley are limiting the amount of water and other items customers can purchase.
Jason Specht, front end manager of Costco located on 6555 N. Decatur Blvd., says members are limited to two of these items per day: Water, antibacterial cleansers, hand sanitizers, toilet paper, and paper towels.
Some Targets in town have posted signs reading:
“Due to high demand and to support all guests, we will be limiting the quantities of disinfectant wipes, hand sanitizers and hand & face wipes to 6 per guest.”
Clark County School District Precautions
The Clark County School District hasn’t planned any school closures currently, but they’re canceling any extra-curricular activities:
“For the moment, there are no planned school closures. However, should the need arise, contingency plans have been developed and continue to be refined daily. The goal of CCSD is to remain open and educate our children to provide a sense of stability for our students, employees, and families.”
They’ve outlined the following restrictions as precautionary measures to the outbreak:
- All school, district, and non-district sponsored athletics, extra-curricular activities, assemblies, practices, and events are suspended effective immediately until further notice.
- Activities and events scheduled toward the end of the school year, including graduation ceremonies, will be evaluated as we progress through this situation.
- Restrictions on international and out-of-state student travel remain.
- At this time, Safekey, After-School All-Stars, Communities in Schools, and other programs that provide support for after-school care will continue operating to support students and families.
- Salad bars will be removed from all schools, effective immediately, until further notice.
- Students will continue to have numerous menu options meeting federal guidelines.
- Employees should remain at their assigned work locations and avoid unnecessary travel to other schools and district buildings, except essential personnel servicing our students.
- All out-of-district consultants, including professional learning facilitators, are restricted from providing in-person services in CCSD effective immediately until further notice.
- CCSD has increased the cleaning of all surfaces, as a proactive approach to preventing the possible spread of COVID-19.
- At this time, Thursday, March 12, 2020 Board of School Trustees meeting will continue as planned.
- Staff has thoroughly cleaned and disinfected the board room.
- Only essential personnel presenting items will attend the meeting.
- The meeting will be conducted in accordance with the open public meeting law.
- Live streaming of the meeting will be available on CCSD.net
COVID-19 Numbers Nationwide
From Thursday’s numbers found in the New York Times database, there have 1,282 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the United States and 37 deaths.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding COVID-19’s continued impact on the city of Las Vegas.