COVID-19 surge due after July 4 crowds, officials say

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — It’s been two weeks since the start of the July 4th holiday weekend, and state health officials are bracing for more COVID-19 cases.

“By Wednesday of this week or so, any exposure that occurred over the Fourth of July weekend that resulted in a symptomatic case should be present understanding that it may take a day to get tested, then a few days to get that result,” said Julia Peek, Nevada’s deputy administrator of Community Health Services.

“We should expect to see an increase in cases as a result of the Fourth of July exposure starting at the end of this weekend through next week,” Peek said.

Crowds at Lake Mead for July 4 brought attention to the problem as the holiday weekend started, with many people disregarding social distancing on the shore. Big crowds at the lake on Memorial Day weekend served as a warning this time.

The July 4 weekend was followed by openings at several more pools in the valley.

In a Friday call, state officials say that 18% of Nevada’s total of 33,295 COVID-19 cases have been identified through contact tracing, and recent attention has focused on bars, pools and home improvement stores. Nevada saw new peaks in cases reported over the past week.

The state’s Division of Industrial Relations has taken an active role, monitoring businesses and issuing penalties to stores and other businesses.

Reports today indicate an 87% compliance rate in following Gov. Steve Sisolak’s orders to wear face masks and follow social distancing guidelines. Southern Nevada has been below that in previous reports, at about 80%, while observations in Northern Nevada indicate 86% compliance. Today’s update indicated better compliance throughout the state.

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