It also followed a call from the public health chief in Los Angeles for Californians to rethink plans to travel to Nevada until COVID-19 case numbers in the Silver State decrease. Weekend visitors from Southern California have in recent months jammed Interstate 15, the main route for the 270-mile (435-kilometer) trip between Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
“I do want to recommend, especially if you’re unvaccinated, reconsider traveling to places where the seven-day COVID-19 case rates are increasing or high like Nevada, our neighbor,” Dr. Muntu Davis told Los Angeles County commissioners on Tuesday.
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s chief of staff, Michelle White, responded during a video conference call with reporters on Thursday with a suggestion that people travel to Nevada and get vaccinated. “That’s why we are working to make sure there are vaccination and testing locations located on places like the Las Vegas Strip. That is open any individual, workers … visitors,” White said. “We have all three vaccines offered, including the one shot. If someone is coming from out of state, that can be more convenient and we certainly encourage everyone to do so.”
The Department of Health and Human Services said test positivity, a key marker of the percentage of people found to be infected among those tested for the virus, had tripled from 3.4 percent 5 weeks ago to 10.9 percent on Thursday. The positivity figure reported by the state Department of Health and Human Services was 12.3 percent in the Las Vegas area.
The number of new cases reported Friday in Nevada was 866, and 6 new deaths. That brought to 5,758 the number of lives lost in the state to COVID-19 since March 2020. Most cases and deaths in Nevada during the pandemic have been in the Las Vegas area, home to 2.3 million people and host to tens of millions of visitors per year.