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RENO, Nev. (AP) — Bars, taprooms, wineries and breweries will remain closed in Las Vegas but can reopen as early as next week in the Reno-Sparks area under strict guidelines intended to prevent the spread of COVID-19, a state task force decided Thursday.

Drinking establishments in rural Pahrump were given the go-ahead to open after midnight at 50% capacity if employees and patrons wear face coverings.

The COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force took Nye County off its monitoring list and officials noted the positivity rate for the virus in the rural county west of Las Vegas fell from 11.4% last week to 6.4% this week.

Re-openings in Washoe County can begin at 12:01 a.m. next Thursday, subject to task force approval of enforcement measures for mask-wearing and 50% capacity.

The move came after about 30 local bar owners formed the Washoe County Bar/Taproom Coalition and agreed to comprehensive operating standards, KRNV-TV reported.

The panel accepted the plan partly because the county’s positive rate dropped from 8.3% last week to 7.3% this week.

The task force didn't vote on any other county mitigation plans.

Task Force Chairman Caleb Cage said he opposed re-openings in Las Vegas and Clark County due to a high area positivity rate of 11.2%.

Nevada reported 288 new COVID-19 cases Thursday and 17 deaths, for statewide totals of 72,546 and 1,429.

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