With the future of live events at scale dependent on consumer confidence in safety and local regulations, Wynn Resorts is taking a unique approach to reopening its doors. The Las Vegas entertainment giant has plans for launching its own COVID-19 testing lab, churning out rapid results to allow concerts and conventions to take place.
Wynn CEO Matt Maddox released a statement announcing the plans, and sharing his vision for what it might look like.
Imagine the following: Lionel Richie is playing at the Encore Theater at 7pm. Between 12pm and 4pm that day, you and your friends each provide a saliva sample at our on-property testing centers. The barcodes are scanned and you download the free UMC app and go about your day. All the information is hosted by UMC and the data is private. When the test results come back at 6pm, a negative test triggers a green light on the app and you can attend the show. And because the same process will apply, you can also head into a securely populated convention the following morning.
The company is working with several labs and scientists to fine tune its plans, which Maddox believes can bring the chance of exposure at events using the system to about 0.1%.
If, by chance, someone is infected after they take the test, science tells us that it takes approximately 48 hours for that person to become communicable. We are not planning on creating a full “Wynn bubble” by testing everyone in every environment, but instead requiring a test for employees to work or guests to attend a show, convention, nightclub or other crowded space that exceeds the “mass gathering” state mandated limits. Clearly, we will need approval from the state to execute this plan, but having worked closely with leading medical experts around the country, I believe that this approach can accelerate Nevada’s recovery, and not just for the Las Vegas Strip, but also to reopen our schools.
Nothing in life is 100% safe but establishing these safe zones by testing thousands of people per day with the PCR test, dramatically mitigates the danger of community spread and, with empirical evidence and careful execution, will work. The probability of a contagious COVID carrier entering a “safe zone” is less than one-tenth of 1%.
Encore Theater at Wynn hosts up to 1,400 guests for performances, with comic Jim Gaffigan currently scheduled for a December performance. The room has been closed since March due to the pandemic. The Wynn was scheduled to host Ticket Summit in the fall of 2020, but plans for the trade show were scuttled by governmental restrictions on travel and event attendance.