Bars in Washoe County Can Reopen Tonight

Bars in Washoe County Can Reopen Tonight

Safe reopening COVID-19 procedures finalized

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Reno/Sparks, NV – Bars, taverns, pubs, breweries, distilleries and wineries in Washoe County can reopen tonight, Sept. 16, at 11:59 p.m., under safe COVID-19 operating guidelines.

The local jurisdictions (Cities of Reno and Sparks, Washoe County) partnered with the Washoe County Bar/Taproom Coalition, a group of bar owners engaged to reopen bars safely, and drafted COVID-19 mitigation and safety measures, which were approved by Governor Steve Sisolak’s office. Those guidelines that bars must follow can be found here. More information for bar owners can be found on the website under “Businesses”.

Among the changes customers can expect to see are:

  • Masks must be worn
  • Bars will operate at 50 percent capacity based on fire code
  • Social distancing of 6-feet must be maintained between tables and groups
  • Groups of 6 or fewer can be seated at tables and must arrive at the same time
  • Groups of 3 or fewer can sit at bar counter; individuals must social distance at least 6 feet
  • No standing or congregating outside of tables, countertops
  • No interactive games (billiards, darts, video games)
    • Gaming devices regulated by Gaming Control Board must have plexiglass between devices, or block every other machine

The local jurisdictions (Washoe County and the Cities of Reno and Sparks) oversee enforcement, which was directed by the State. Those who wish to file a complaint about a business not following the guidelines can do so online by following this link, or call the respective jurisdictions where the bar is located.

The Regional Information Center with the Washoe County Bar/Taproom Coalition held a Question and Answer session that can be viewed here. Bar owners can go to this link to download signage that must be put at the bars.

The Nevada COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force last Thursday approved the Washoe County COVID-19 Action Plan, which had requested that bars reopen in Washoe County.

The Washoe County Health District urged the Task Force to reopen bars because of the disproportionate number of COVID-19 cases in Washoe County related to private parties and gatherings at residences. The Health District argued that bars with strict COVID-19 mitigation measures in place (face coverings, social distancing, etc.) could be a safer alternative.

More information for businesses about COVID-19 health and safety measures can be found here.  

The COVID-19 Regional Information Center is working together to deliver COVID-19 community updates in a unified manner. While press releases are only sent periodically for significant events, you can always get daily results on our website,, our COVID-19 Dashboard or by following us on Twitter @COVID19Washoe. The entities include: City of Reno, City of Sparks, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe, Regional Transportation Commission, REMSA, Reno Sparks Indian Colony, Reno Police Department, Reno Fire Department, Truckee Meadows Fire Protection District, University of Nevada, Reno, Washoe County, Washoe County Health District, Washoe County School District and Washoe County Sheriff’s Office. Also in the group are the area hospitals, Northern Nevada Medical Center, Renown Health and Saint Mary’s.