Updated April 23, 2020 - 7:11 pm
Three more workers at the Resorts World Las Vegas project have tested positive for COVID-19.
A representative for the $4.3 billion hotel-casino venture announced the new cases of the respiratory disease caused by the novel coronavirus Thursday and confirmed there have now been seven cases total.
It is the highest-known case total of any construction site in Nevada, though Resorts World also is a massive project with a big workforce, said Frank Hawk, who chairs a statewide construction group formed to address safety issues during the pandemic.
According to Hawk, 13 construction workers in Southern Nevada are known to have tested positive for COVID-19, along with nine in Northern Nevada.
Resorts World has taken “extraordinary precautions” amid the outbreak, including by having only a few people on manlifts at a time and by temporarily closing and disinfecting areas where infected workers had been, he indicated.
“There’s nothing glaring there,” said Hawk, vice president of the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters.
Nevada Occupational Safety and Health Administration staff did not immediately respond to a request for comment late Thursday.
In compliance with government guidelines and safety standards, Resorts World said Thursday, project management “continues to follow and implement maximum preventative policies and procedures to minimize risk of transmission.”
Among other actions, management says it has required wellness screenings at the start of each shift for all workers, installed additional hand-washing stations throughout the job site, and posted on-site ambulance and medical staff to conduct vitals checks.
Construction has been allowed to continue across the U.S., including in Nevada, during the pandemic while casinos and other businesses have been forced to close to help contain the virus’ spread.
State officials have released guidance saying Nevada construction sites should ensure workers remain 6 feet apart, restrict meetings and gatherings to no more than 10 people, and conduct daily surveys of workers’ health conditions.
When asked at a news conference this month why construction was deemed essential amid the outbreak, Gov. Steve Sisolak noted he kept mining and manufacturing open as well, and he doesn’t want “another 100,000 or more filing for unemployment if I can avoid it.”
He also said job sites have adopted increased protocols and “it seems to be OK, but we’re reviewing it on a regular basis.”
Sisolak’s office did not respond to a request for comment Thursday.