LAS VEGAS (FOX5) -- Nevada Health Response on Thursday issued new guidance to allow for reopening of karaoke singing and open microphone events.
According to a news release, upon advice from Gov. Sisolak's Medical Advisory Team, the state has issued new guidance that includes a required minimum separation of at least 12 feet between singers and others.
Additionally, according to Nevada Health Response, whether an event space is open to the public or in a private room, karaoke gatherings should not exceed 50% of fire code capacity with social distancing until the time at which authority over mitigation measures transitions to the counties and then county capacity rules shall apply.
All those not actively singing, eating or drinking, must keep their face coverings on at all times, the agency notes.
The guidance also notes that businesses must maintain a microphone cover inventory and must make sure that microphone covers are replaced and disposed of after every use and between parties in private rooms.
Kristin Bartolo, owner for Dino's Las Vegas, said she found out the news when a FOX5 staff member texted her.
“I just looked down at my text and it said you get to open tonight, and I was like what?! It was crazy, just out of nowhere,” Bartolo said.
Dino's, a bar known for karaoke, was open all summer but were forced to shut their stage down due to statewide closures in October. During that time Bartolo reached out to city, county and state officials and pressed them on why some karaoke spaces in Southern Nevada could remain open while others could not.
“One of my big complaints when I was arguing with them in December was the Kamu Karaoke lounge in the Venetian just opened, biggest karaoke place in town and big rooms and hundred dollars an hour, they sit 20 people, they were still all open. So I didn’t think that was fair," Bartolo said.
She estimates her bar is losing $8,000 each weekend by not being able to host karaoke. And there's no shortage of people asking.
"We probably get about, still 30-40 phone calls a day I must get probably 10 google messages a day," Bartolo said.
Moving forward, with the return of karaoke now, Bartolo said her biggest challenge will be keeping people in their seats.
“I got punched in the face a few weeks ago asking this girl not to dance. So at some point you know as long as they kind of stay in their little six person area with their mask on. The best we can do," Bartolo said.
Ultimately she's looking forward to the return of customers she's missed.
“I’m excited to see customers I haven’t seen in a long time, and listen to their songs and stuff like that so I’m excited,” Bartolo said.
Nevada Health Response says that the new guidance becomes effective immediately. A copy of the guidance can be read below: