COVID briefs for May 20

  • FILE - In this Feb. 10, 2021, file photo, buskers dressed as showgirls walk into a casino along the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Vaccinated diners, dancers, business owners and bodybuilders will be among those who can go maskless beginning June 1 in the Las Vegas area. County lawmakers on Tuesday, May 18, 2021, adopted Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines and dropped plans to tie business occupancy to COVID-19 vaccination rates. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

Las Vegas Strip rules to end for vaccinated

LAS VEGAS — The Las Vegas Strip and surroundings will fully reopen to vaccinated diners, dancers, shoppers and club-goers beginning June 1.

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Clark County lawmakers on Tuesday followed CDC guidelines and dropped plans to tie business occupancy to coronavirus vaccination rates.

The unanimous vote came after public speakers expressed anger and frustration with pandemic restrictions — especially their effects on schoolchildren.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Friday aligned state requirements with CDC recommendations issued a day earlier. The CDC says fully vaccinated people can stop social distancing and mask-wearing outdoors in crowds and in most indoor settings.

Most Las Vegas casinos have already returned to 100% occupancy and no social distancing under oversight of the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Texas governor orders end to mask requirements

AUSTIN, Texas — Texas’ governor says public schools must end mask requirements starting in June and is ordering Texas’ cities and counties to drop nearly all face covering mandates by the end of the week.

Tuesday’s announcement from Gov. Greg Abbott does not affect private businesses, which can still require customers or workers to wear masks. But the change is the biggest rollbacks of Texas’ pandemic safeguards since Abbott ended a statewide mask mandate in March.

Public hospitals, jails and state-supported living centers will still be allowed to require masks.

The move comes as Texas’ coronavirus cases and COVID-19 deaths continue to plunge and vaccines are being made available to children as young as 12.

Some Texas school have already ended mask mandates. The Texas State Teachers Association criticized Abbott’s decision as premature.

Oregon health officials announce new mask rules

PORTLAND, Oregon — Oregon health officials say businesses and churches can choose to no longer require masks and social distancing for fully vaccinated people, but those places must have individuals show proof of vaccination and review it.

Under new rules announced Tuesday, people will still be required to wear masks while on public transportation and in schools, hospitals and clinics, homeless shelters, correctional facilities and long-term care facilities.

Oregonians have been required since last summer to wear masks inside public spaces such as grocery stores, shops, gyms and restaurants and outside in situations where people cannot remain six feet apart.

More counties in California relax pandemic rules

LOS ANGELES — Five more California counties will move to less restrictive pandemic rules because of improving COVID-19 conditions.

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The state Department of Public Health said Tuesday that Orange, Santa Cruz, Santa Clara and Amador counties are moving from the orange, or moderate, tier to the yellow, or minimal, tier. Tehama County is improving from the red, substantial, tier to orange.

The moves will put 13 counties in yellow, 35 in orange and 10 in red. No counties are in the purple, or substantial, tier.

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