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MGM to temporarily close Vegas buffets as virus precaution

Buffets will be closed at seven properties: Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur.

LAS VEGAS — One of the largest resort operators in Las Vegas said Tuesday it is temporarily closing buffets at all of its Las Vegas Strip casino-resorts as a precaution amid concerns over the spread of the new coronavirus. 

MGM Resorts International announced it will close the all-you-can-eat restaurants starting Sunday and re-evaluate the closure every week. 

Buffets, where diners pay a flat fee and often serve themselves at various food stands with unlimited portions, are a signature staple of most casinos in the gambling destination. 

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

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The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover. 

In China, where the virus first exploded, more than 80,000 people have been diagnosed and more than 58,000 have so far recovered.

MGM said the decision to close buffets was made out of an abundance of caution and was not recommended by any health officials. Buffets will be closed at seven properties: Aria, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, Mirage, Luxor and Excalibur.

Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto
Nice buffet line in a hotel

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