What Happens in Vegas Should be Masked

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The Southern Nevada Health District is recommending everyone wear masks again when indoors and in crowded places whether they have been vaccinated or not and whether they have tested negative or not.

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  1. The number of COVID-19 cases is on the rise in Las Vegas, Nevada, as is the case in many destinations across the country and around the globe.
  2. This is not an official requirement, as only the state county and cities can mandate that.
  3. The mask recommendation came after health officials reported yesterday 938 new cases statewide — the biggest one-day jump since February — and 15 new deaths.

This strong recommendation affects casinos, concerts, and clubs where business has boomed since restrictions were lifted and the state fully returned pandemic control measures to counties about 7 weeks ago.

“Both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals should wear masks when they are in crowded public settings … such as grocery stores, malls, large events and casinos,” Dr. Fermin Leguen, the region’s chief health officer, told reporters. Vaccine clinics and testing are continuing at sites around the region, Leguen added.

Vaccination rates have stalled in recent weeks in Nevada, a state with libertarian leanings where health officials reported Friday that about 55 percent of residents 12 years and older have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Statewide, about 46.3 percent are fully vaccinated. Nationally, 68 percent of adults have received at least one dose of vaccine, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

An official with the union representing 60,000 Nevada casino employees issued a statement noting the risks posed to workers by people who are not vaccinated. Culinary Union official Geoconda Argüello-Kline pointed to CDC data that more than 97 percent of people who have been hospitalized recently with COVID-19 have not received a vaccine.

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