A Nevada CEO is gunning for the state to reopen in May, a bold undertaking he justifies by pointing to the crippling effect the virus is having on the state’s economy.
Nevada’s unemployment rate jumped recently to 6.3 percent, the highest in the nation. Its economy, reliant largely on tourism, has taken a huge blow due to the stay-at-home orders and the attempts to mediate the virus’ spread.
So, after conversations with health experts, Matt Maddox, chief executive officer of Wynn Resorts, has been laying out an elaborate set of guidelines under which things could reopen if the government finds it amenable.
Maddox proposed allowing controlled reopenings with Wynn’s own casinos, which would include giving out face masks and hand sanitizer, reducing occupancy in public places, enforced social distancing measures, and temperature checks when one enters a room.
He proposed limiting the number of people in elevators or limos, and immediately quarantining any guest at a hotel who ended up testing positive.
Of course, he said, the chief concern that could help everything move along quicker would be more widespread testing – but that doesn’t seem to be on the horizon any time soon. Maddox said another potential danger was the distressed hospitals that have canceled elective procedures. He said that could lead to further issues down the road with the nation’s health care system.
Wynn was the first operator in the state of Nevada to shut down operations due to the pandemic. The company has committed to continue paying employees during the quarantine – a process which costs it $3 million per day and will likely come out to $180 million after a few months.
Maddox said he was aware that reopening wouldn’t be easy and that, if a spike occurs, more shutdowns might happen in the future. But he said the country would soon have to start approaching the situation akin to crossing a river “one step at a time” and by putting “feet in the water” before it’s too late to save the economy.
The issue of “reopening” the economy is one discussed more and more now, and with good reason; it will come with multiple different faces of the issue to consider, from the economic fallout to the invisible enemy of the virus itself.