State officials issue warnings to avoid Las Vegas as COVID-19 cases surge

Jul 24, 2021

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Several jurisdictions have advised their residents to avoid travel to Las Vegas or Nevada amid high rates of positive COVID-19 cases.

Hawaii’s Kauai warned its residents against traveling to Las Vegas. Mayor Derek Kawakami said Las Vegas was the “biggest hot spot” for bringing COVID-19 to the island, and a health official said a spike in positive cases was traced to travel to Las Vegas.

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“This destination poses significant risks. The popular activities are largely indoors and can be crowded. Visitors stay indoors for prolonged periods, mingling with others from all over the country. Masks are not required,” Hawaii’s State Department of Health Kauai District Health Office wrote on July 19.

“The result is a set-up for the spread of COVID-19. If you plan a trip, please be vaccinated before you go,” the statement continued. The health department advises residents traveling to Las Vegas to be fully vaccinated.

The Hawaiian island isn’t the only place warning residents to stay away from Sin City or Nevada. A Contra Costa County, CA, health official said that “as far as COVID goes, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.” A Los Angeles health official recommended that residents avoid Nevada, particularly those who are unvaccinated. And the city of Chicago added several states, including Nevada, to a travel advisory.

All Las Vegas employees who work indoors are now required to mask up again, as local officials try to contain the concerning upswing in COVID-19 cases related to the delta variant. But the mandate stops short of requiring tourists to wear masks for the time being. The new mask requirement will remain in place until at least August 17.

Clark County, which includes the city of Las Vegas, is amid a surge in positive cases. According to the New York Times, a 7-day average of 764 cases per day were reported in Clark County as of July 23 — a 74 percent increase from two weeks ago. According to a New York Times tracker, just 40% of all Clark County residents are fully vaccinated against the coronavirus.

Since the beginning of the coronavirus crisis, more than 272,000 Clark County residents have tested positive for COVID-19, and nearly 5,800 have died.

Featured photo by Axel Schmies/Getty Images

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