Local COVID-19 hospitalizations increase; most patients unvaccinated


LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As the number of COVID-19 vaccinations being administered goes down, hospitalizations are going up. Doctors are preparing for the worst.

More than a month ago, we heard the words, “If you are vaccinated, you can take off your mask. If not — wear it.” As restrictions eased, masks came off, whether people were vaccinated or not, and now cases are growing again.

Dr. Marc Jeser, ER director at Summerlin Hospital, tells 8 News Now a good part of his day has been treating those with COVID.

“During the first few hours of my shift, I saw six COVID patients, all the same general symptoms,” he shared. “The youngest was probably in the 20s.”

Jeser’s team is preparing for a surge similar to last year.

“There are patients that we are putting on high-flow oxygen,” he said, “and we are starting the protocols we used last year.”

The doctor tells us these patients have one thing in common: they’re unvaccinated.

Coronavirus hospitalizations are increasing not only in Las Vegas, but throughout the state. The most recent numbers from the Nevada Health Response team reveal as of Wednesday, there were 557 confirmed hospitalizations, whereas at this time last year, there were 607.

“The major difference between last year and right now is we have three good vaccines available within us that is the protective shield,” explained Dr. Manas Mandal of Roseman University of Health Sciences.

He says there may not be an end in sight of the pandemic if low interest in the vaccine continues.

“It is a scary situation, but we want the common people aware about the intensity and the magnitude of the infection once again developing,” Mandal said.

We also reached out to Sunrise Hospital. They tell us they do have COVID patients on ventilators and say about 80% of the them are not vaccinated.

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