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Nevada has become the latest COVID-19 hotspot

Just a head’s up before the long weekend — Nevada is seeing a surge in COVID-19 cases

People walk as others dine on the Las Vegas Strip.
In this Saturday, April 24, 2021, file photo, people walk as others dine on the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas. Nevada has seen a spike in COVID-19 cases.
John Locher, Associated Press

Nevada has become a hot spot for the novel coronavirus, experiencing so many cases that experts say it could become a “breeding ground for new variants,” according to CNN.

Nevada’s new COVID surge

Nevada is seeing a massive COVID-19 surge right now. For example, Clark County — which includes Las Vegas — had 130 cases per day in early June. Now, the county has seen 675 cases on Tuesday alone, showing a rise in cases, according to CNN.

Dr. Shadaba Asad, the medical director of infectious disease at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, told CNN that Nevada hospitals are prepared right now to handle the surge.

  • But, she said, hospitalizations and deaths can be stopped by the vaccine.

Asad said the recent rise has been among the unvaccinated, who are spreading the viruses so much that there could be more variants coming through.

“As long as you have a huge burden of the virus in your community, which is currently being kept alive by unvaccinated people, the virus will mutate and new variants will emerge,” she said. “It’s just a matter of time before you’re going to come across a variant where your vaccines do not provide that degree of protection. So unvaccinated people pose a huge threat to the rest of us who are vaccinated, because they’re literally a breeding ground for new variants.”

Warnings and worry over Nevada’s COVID outbreak

Earlier in July, health officials in Los Angeles County issued a warning to California residents about traveling to Nevada, saying the state has had a huge surge of COVID-19 cases and may be an area to avoid right now, as I wrote for the Deseret News.

  • Officials said Los Angeles County residents should skip all states where COVID-19 cases are high, including Arkansas, Missouri, Louisiana and Nevada, per The New York Times.

Lori Nelson-Kraft, spokeswoman for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, said in a statement to the Las Vegas Review-Journal that Las Vegas is trying to make things as safe as possible for visitors.

  • “We continue to encourage visitors and locals alike to get vaccinated,” Nelson-Kraft said. “Visitors to Las Vegas should feel confident that we are making every effort to ensure their safety in our destination.”