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Las Vegas Strip Gets Surprising Covid, RSV, and Flu News

Caesars, MGM, Wynn, and the other Las Vegas Strip operators have struggled with health concerns leading to people being wary of a Vegas vacation.

Since covid first became a thing, Las Vegas fell under more scrutiny than any travel destination that wasn't a Walt Disney (DIS) - Get Free Report theme park or a cruise ship. 

Sin City got blamed for some early spread, even though it became clear pretty quickly that the virus was going to become a global problem.

The Las Vegas Strip faced enormous scrutiny and was the only tourist city in the U.S. to more or less close down because of covid. Las Vegas officially shut down in March 2020, with Caesars Entertainment  (CZR) - Get Free Report, MGM Resorts International  (MGM) - Get Free Report, Wynn Resorts  (WYNN) - Get Free Report, and every other operator grinding to a halt.  

Casinos reopened in June under strict mask and social-distancing rules, and full normal did not really return until March 2021, a full year later. 

Caesars, MGM, Wynn, and the rest of the Strip slowly built their business back, but covid and other respiratory illnesses flared, filling hospital beds and making a Las Vegas visit feel risky.

Now, for the first time in more than two years -- after Las Vegas dealt with covid flareups, respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, M-Pox, and even the superbug Candida auris -- Las Vegas has gotten some very positive health news.

Casino Gambling Lead

Illness, Viruses Have Been a Cloud Over the Las Vegas Strip

Normal operations in Las Vegas require people to be in close proximity to each other. Conventions with social distancing made little sense, and major shows in 2022, like CES, operated in hybrid mode, with many people opting to attend remotely.

Gambling, of course, also puts people in close proximity to each other. During the social-distancing period, that meant lots of plexiglass and table games with limited players. 

It was a bad environment for players and not great for the casino operators, which make a lot of money when crowds of mid-tier players gamble, eat, and spend on shows.

Covid, RSV, and the flu cast a pall over Las Vegas because visiting became a risk/reward calculation. Companies had to consider whether it was safe to send employees, while individuals had to think about whether the risk of bringing a virus home was worth it.

That did not tank business on the Strip -- Caesars, MGM, and Wynn all saw their business begin to flirt with prepandemic numbers -- but it did keep some people home and it made even the 2023 CES much smaller than precovid shows.

Las Vegas Strip Gets Healthier

Las Vegas and the Las Vegas Strip have finally gotten some excellent news when it comes to covid, RSV, the flu, and other respiratory illnesses that at various times have pushed the area's hospitals to the brink.

“Nevada continues to experience a rapid decline in the number of persons requiring hospitalization for respiratory viruses, including covid-19, flu, and RSV,” the Nevada Hospital Association said on Jan. 18, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

Pediatric intensive-care units have still been "stressed," but overall available capacity has been strong.

"New data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicates that all counties in Nevada are experiencing low levels of covid-19, as determined by case numbers and hospitalizations. Clark County and several other counties in the state had been at medium levels in recent weeks," the paper added.