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Las Vegas Sands plane arrives from China with 1M surgical masks

Updated April 9, 2020 - 12:12 pm

Two million surgical masks — 1 million designated for Nevada health care providers and first responders — arrived in the United States from China on Thursday.

A Boeing 767 owned by Las Vegas Sands Chairman Sheldon Adelson delivered 1 million masks to Albany, New York, on Thursday before arriving at the company’s hangar at McCarran International Airport.

The masks arrived in 500 boxes loaded on the jet in Guangzhou, a city in southeastern China.

Once the plane was parked on the apron near the hangar on the west side of McCarran, crews in protective gear, masks and gloves unloaded it from the front and back. Green, orange and brown boxes were loaded on pallets, wrapped in plastic inside the hangar and lifted onto trucks in less than an hour.

Masks designated for New York were sent to a state collection center that will distribute them to front-line workers. In Nevada, masks also are being distributed through a state-run entity responsible for the distribution of incoming donations, along with supplies provided directly by the state and federal government.

“This pandemic has called on each of us to use every ability we have to help those most impacted by the crisis,” Adelson said in a statement. “Getting personal protection equipment to our health-care professionals and first responders in Nevada and New York, the epicenter of this crisis, is critical to keeping those brave folks safe, while making sure they can do their jobs to aid our most vulnerable citizens.”

Sands is among several casino companies that have stepped up with COVID-19 relief.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. has distributed 3,500 masks to Dignity Health, 200,000 pairs of gloves and 4,000 masks to University Medical Center, 150 cases of hand sanitizer and 7,500 masks to the Metropolitan Police Department and 2,000 pairs of gloves to the Nevada Trucking Association.

Wynn Resorts Ltd. distributed 95,000 surgical masks, 1,500 N95 masks and thousands of protective gloves to local medical and law enforcement facilities that are battling supply shortages related to the pandemic.

MGM Resorts International provided logistical support helping the Nevada COVID-19 Task Force transport 250,000 rapid test kits and meet vital storage needs — the tests must remain frozen to be viable — for the State of Nevada. The company donated large freezer and refrigeration units from its Mandalay Bay property to University Medical Center of Southern Nevada for COVID-19 rapid test storage. MGM partnered with Penske Trucks to meet the demand for freezer and refrigerated storage.

The company is working closely with MGM Macau to source and ship personal protective equipment for health care workers in Nevada, including 200,000 gloves and 261,000 gowns.

MGM also is working with community partners throughout the country to understand unique regional demands to provide support where it is needed most. So far, the company has donated more than 555,405 pounds of food — 462,837 meals. It has contributed personal hygiene supplies, furniture and other items.

Starting Tuesday, chefs from the company’s resorts will cook and donate 1,000 hot meals a day for Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada. The effort — which will last through April 30, meets an essential need for the facility, which recently reopened its Emergency Night Shelter after a shelter client was confirmed as positive with COVID-19.

Boyd Gaming Corp. donated more than 35,000 masks and 20,000 pairs of gloves to first responders and hospitals in the valley.

Sands has donated more than 2.5 million pieces of personal protective equipment to Nevada, New York, California and Massachusetts. The company also donated 1,900 coronavirus test kits and is donating 20,000 protective suits to the State of Nevada.

The company also has made financial contributions to several hunger-relief organizations and donated 60 pallets of food and more 55,000 bottles of water to local organizations.

“I am grateful we can leverage our resources to get these donations to the front lines, and we send them with the best wishes of our company and team members,” Adelson said.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

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