Las Vegas is still loaded with tourists. Who’s partying through the coronavirus pandemic?
Ed Komenda, Reno Gazette Journal Published 1:56 p.m. ET March 14, 2020 | Updated 4:38 p.m. ET March 14, 2020CLOSE The coronavirus is now characterized as a pandemic as the WHO director general announces more than 100,000 cases in over 100 countries. USA TODAYLAS VEGAS – The pandemic is here, but you wouldn’t know it.Elmo rides the escalator. Elvis circles vacationers with his scooter. Yard glasses overflow with bright, frozen drinks. Perched on a restaurant balcony, the hair-of-the-dog crowd watches it all unfold, hiding behind designer shades.Fear and loathing in Las Vegas?Not among the tourists partying through the apocalypse.But the powers that be here are taking no chances.Buffets are closing, nightclubs and day clubs are shuttering, conventions are cancelling and putting people out of jobs and resorts are using thermal cameras to screen guests for fevers – a symptom of the coronavirus causing grocery store calamity and self-imposed isolation across the globe.The Nevada governor Thursday declared the spread of COVID-19 a state emergency. President Donald Trump Friday declared it a national one. Yet thousands of people are walking up and down the Las Vegas Strip.They pick through Sin City t-shirts at Planet Hollywood. They pack the buffet at Bally’s, one of the few left open. They stand elbow-to-elbow at crosswalks.They lean over the edge at the Fountains of Bellagio and