Posted on: December 14, 2022, 03:03h. 

Last updated on: December 14, 2022, 12:53h.

Several months ago, a new wave of COVID-19 cases in Mexico prompted certain states to bring back protocols to fight the spread of the disease. These included reduced capacities and other restrictions at casinos. Now, the state of Nuevo León is now going further by bringing back anti-pandemic measures everyone had hoped were well in the past.

Mexico sees new COVID-19 outbreak
People wear facemasks on the street as Mexico experiences a new COVID-19 outbreak. Casinos in Nuevo León will now require their gamblers to use facemasks, as well. (Image: Reuters)

This past August, Mexico saw a one-month increase in COVID-19-related hospitalizations of 302%. Nuevo León responded by making recommendations to combat a larger outbreak.

Among the recommendations was the use of a facemask in any indoor setting, including casinos, restaurants, movie theaters, and more. The recommendation is now an order in the state, according to media outlet Nuevo León Informa.

COVID-19 Nightmare Continues

Nuevo León’s Ministry of Health reported that the use of facemasks is now mandatory in casinos and all closed spaces. It’s trying to lighten any COVID-19-related anxiety by adding that the requirement is also an effort to control the flu and other respiratory diseases.

The head of the government agency, Alma Rosa Marroquín Escamilla, explained that with these measures, it will be possible to prevent a situation that could lead to even further restrictions. Marroquín assumed her role last October as COVID-19 was still laying siege to countries around the world.

The decree, published in the Official State Gazette of Nuevo León, declares the use of facemasks as mandatory in common-use areas. These include shopping centers, retail establishments, public transport, restaurants, bars, casinos, and other locations. It also states that the public, social and private sectors, must continue implementing the prevention measures established in the agreement. Failure to do so may result in fines or other forms of government-sanctioned punishment.

Data from Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) shows a serious spike in new COVID-19 cases in Nuevo León.

While its most recent data, compiled on Monday, indicates no new cases from November 29 to December 4, that changed the next day. On December 5, there were 574 new cases. Two days later, there were 152 and then, on December 12, there were 205.

COVID-19 Making a Comeback

Health officials say that Mexico is experiencing its sixth wave of COVID-19 infections. Among the states that have the highest rates of infection are the State of Mexico, Nuevo León, Jalisco, Sonora, and Veracruz. Quintana Roo tops all of them, with 70 new cases per 100K inhabitants.

Mexico isn’t alone. Macau recorded 204 new cases on Sunday, four of which came from Hong Kong. A day earlier, there had been 106 new cases, according to Macau Business. On Monday, the figure jumped again, reaching 382. However, the government is still relaxing travel restrictions and will allow hotels to accept COVID-19-positive guests.

Australia has seen a few recent spikes as well. The daily average hovers around 4,000, but reached over 82K on December 1 and 8. In the US, on December 7 and 8, there were over 149K new cases. This is a substantial increase over the rolling seven-day average of about 61K.

Other countries are experiencing similar trends based on the CSSE data. Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Germany, and the UK all show spikes on or around December 8.

COVID-19 and the restrictions it brought took its toll on the land-based gaming industry once already. For example, Nevada’s casinos lost $4.8 billion in fiscal year 2020. Macau lost virtually everything and still hasn’t fully recovered.