Las Vegas Sands Company announced on Tuesday that they would be donating an astonishing two million medical masks, one million going to New York and one million going to Nevada, and 20,000 protective suits to Nevada’s health care industry.
The suits will be spread out among health-care professionals, nonprofit organizations, and first responders in the state.
While Las Vegas’ economy is among the worst hit in the nation, New York leads the country in most confirmed COVID-19 cases and deaths and is being referred to as the epicenter of the outbreak.
“Hopefully our donations will help protect people on the front lines so they can continue their invaluable work, and we can start to see the numbers of people affected begin to diminish,” Sands Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Sheldon G. Adelson said in a statement.
“Our properties in Las Vegas may be empty right now, but our hearts are full of hope for the future. The determination and courage I have seen in our Team Members, which I know is the same throughout this country, gives me every confidence we will get through this unprecedented crisis.”
Las Vegas Sands’ generous contributions mark their second wave of personal protective equipment (PPE) donations. Prior to this donation, the company gave 100,000 masks to the local Las Vegas healthcare community and 5,000 masks Las Vegas Metro Police Department. They also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits to the state of Nevada.
COVID-19 Situation in New York
According to Adelson, the state of New York is in desperate need of surgical masks among other PPE. This is evident in New York Governor Andrew Cuomo’s plea for health care reinforcements. Cuomo advised that nearly one million healthcare workers are needed to help fight coronavirus, especially in NYC.
“People are looking to New York as a bellwether for what comes next, both in terms of the pandemic’s impact and for how quickly the region, particularly New York City, is able to recover from the aftermath of the virus,” Adelson said. “It’s important we steer resources to the places where the need is the greatest and most urgent.”
As of today, there are at least 83,712 confirmed cases of coronavirus statewide, with over half of those cases in New York City, which has 47,439 cases. The number of people who have died from COVID-19 in New York state is 1,941, making it the largest number of reported cases and deaths in the country.
The majority of COVID-19 deaths are out of NYC as well, which has 1,096 of the 1,941 reported deaths.
Right now, 12,226 people with COVID-19 are hospitalized, with 3,022 in intensive care. At least 6,142 coronavirus patients have been discharged.
COVID-19 Situation in Nevada
Nevada’s reported numbers are nowhere near the gravity of New York’s, but the number is continuing to increase, and nearly double, over the last few weeks.
As of today, there are 1,279 cases of COVID-19 statewide, according to figures from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. In Clark County, there are 961 positive cases as of Tuesday, March 31.
Of those cases, 28 patients have died from the virus, while 198 people are being hospitalized.
So far, 12,798 people have tested for COVID-19 in the state, with 11,519 people coming back negative for the disease.
Local Healthcare Workers Express Gratitude for Supplies
The healthcare industry in Southern Nevada is expressing their extreme gratitude for the generous, much-needed donation by Las Vegas Sands, saying it’s an act of compassion they will never forget.
“Words can’t express our gratitude to the Las Vegas Sands Corp.,” said Karla Perez, regional vice president of the Valley Health System. “We are humbled by the extent to which our community is reaching out to caregivers at this challenging time to make sure we are protected. We will never forget this act of compassion and goodwill.”
Gordon Absher, a spokesman for Dignity Health-St. Rose Dominican Hospitals, echoed the sentiment.
“We are incredibly grateful for the outpouring of support from companies big and small… “We’ve always known we can count on the support of our neighbors when faced with adversity.”
Governor Sisolak Is Also Offering High Praise
Governor Sisolak’s office also had to comment on the incredible generosity being offered by Las Vegas Sands Company, especially during a period of uncertainty for the casino industry.
“The governor is very grateful to the Las Vegas Sands Corp. — and all others who have stepped up and helped — for flying in a million masks and 20,000 protective suits for Nevada,” said Ryan McInerney, Sisolak’s communications director. “This generous donation will undoubtedly help our health care workers, hospitals, and first responders save and protect the lives of thousands of Nevadans.”
This is an enormous help for Gov. Sisolak, whose been making adamant requests to the federal government for test kits, PPE, and ventilators.
The Governor says Nevada is on a definite backlog for COVID-19 testing kits, despite making four requests to the government.
PPE Shortage Across America
There has been a national shortage of personal protective equipment within these last few weeks, and it’s causing U.S. health systems to come up with creative strategies to converse their current stock of supplies while figuring out ways to have more supplies provided.
Some of those creative strategies include the reuse of face masks and respirators. According to CDC guidelines, respirators should not be reused more than five times.
Certain healthcare facilities are also using UV disinfection to adequately clean personal protective equipment that will be reused.
“Even with the infusion of supplies from the strategic stockpile and other federal resources, there will not be enough medical supplies, including ventilators, to respond to the projected COVID-19 outbreak,” a March 21 letter from the American Medical Association, American Hospital Association, and American Nurses Association read. “We have heard of health care providers reusing masks or resorting to makeshift alternatives for masks.”
Supply and demand is a big reason for the issue, and this makes sense when, prior to the coronavirus outbreak, China made nearly half of the world’s face masks. With the virus outbreak, it caused China and other countries to begin hoarding these important medical supplies.
Sands Keeps on Giving
Las Vegas Sands Company is not only being generous in their PPE donations to the healthcare sector, but to various organizations during this time of dire need.
The company made a pledge to contribute $250,000 to several local organizations that play an immensely vital role in providing for the community.
Those organizations include Three Square, Southern Nevada’s biggest hunger-relief organization; Communities in Schools, which serves to give meals to underprivileged students; and Share Village Las Vegas, a program that offers assistance to veterans which also runs a community food pantry.
On top of their community contributions, the company has also provided 60 pallets of food and over 55,000 water bottles to various local organizations.
The company is also paying all its 10,000 Las Vegas staff members during the casino closures, including covering full health-care benefits for each individual.
How Much is Las Vegas Sands Losing in Coronavirus Closures?
It’s hard to estimate the financial impact during the ongoing closures, but we know that Las Vegas Sands was one of the first major Las Vegas casino companies to be affected by government-ordered casino closures when Macau’s 41 casinos were shut down for 15 days in February.
We do know that last Friday, Las Vegas Sands Corp. disclosed in an SEC filing that its Sands China Ltd. subsidiary is looking for a waiver that would exempt them from filing a financial compliance certificate needed for the Macao branch of the Bank of China. This would be in exchange for a consent fee.
About Las Vegas Sands Company
The Las Vegas Sands Company includes world-famous US properties including The Venetian, The Palazzo, Sands Expo & Convention Center in Las Vegas, as well as its overseas properties in Macau, China, including Sands Macao, The Venetian Macau, The Plaza Macao, The Parisian Macao, Marina Bay Sands, and Sands Cotai Central.
Las Vegas Sands is the pre-eminent developer and operator of world-class Integrated Resorts that feature luxury hotels, best-in-class gaming, retail, dining and entertainment, Meetings, Incentive, Convention and Exhibition (MICE) facilities, and many other business and leisure amenities. We pioneered the MICE-driven Integrated Resort, a unique, industry leading and extremely successful product that serves both the business and leisure tourism markets.
From their official website.
We’re glad that during this period of worldwide uncertainty that extends to the Las Vegas casino industry, that casino operators are stepping up and helping out those in times of desperate need.
We can only hope that the medical and health needs of the country will be fulfilled during this time and that it will help flatten the curve, which will allow things to return to normal.
Until then, stay tuned for the latest updates regarding the coronavirus pandemic and its impact on this great city.