Coronavirus Concerns Force Some Las Vegas Hotels To Close Food Buffets

LAS VEGAS (CBS Local) — Another American institution is temporarily going by the wayside over concerns about the coronavirus: the food buffets in Las Vegas.

Officials with MGM Resorts announced Tuesday that the company would temporarily close buffets — where diners serve themselves meals from various food stands — at multiple Las Vegas Strip properties, effective Sunday, March 15, to prevent the potential spread of COVID-19.

Those properties include the MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Aria, Bellagio, Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur.

MGM says it will be evaluate the closures on a weekly basis, CBS affiliate KLAS reported.

“The safety and health of guests and employees continue to be top priority as the company works with local health officials on protocol and procedures during this time,” MGM Resorts International said in a statement.

It is not known how many workers will be affected.

MGM said that all of its employees will “work directly with MGM’s Labor Relations department to assist with any employment changes, transitions or questions as part of the temporary Buffet closure process.”

Other casinos and properties have said they are undergoing extensive deep cleaning operations to ensure the health and safety of their environments.

Wynn Las Vegas announced that, effective Wednesday, its buffet “will have stationed culinary staff at each food station to serve our guests, which eliminates the need for guests to touch serving utensils,” the Las Vegas Review Journal reported.

Health officials announced Sunday that two more Nevadans have tested presumptively positive for the novel coronavirus, bringing the total infected in the state up to four.