Expert weighs in on Las Vegas travel risk as COVID-19 numbers surge

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada continues to welcome tourists as COVID-19 transmission surges, so 8 News Now spoke to a local expert about the potential problems travel could bring in the coming weeks. 

As the pandemic rages on tourism is still alive and well, but some visitors said others aren’t following COVID-19 restrictions. 

“Here you see people wearing masks,” tourist Willie Rodriguez told 8 News Now. “And some people not wearing masks.”

Governor Steve Sisolak asked all Southern Nevadans to stay home this week to curb a record case surge, but he made it clear that visitors are still welcome across the state.

“They certainly should come, because those are protecting our jobs,” Sisolak said of visitors during a press conference Tuesday. “But when they come here and they are staying at one of our properties, they need to wear a mask.”

Brian Labus, who works as an Assistant Professor of Public Health at UNLV, told 8 News Now traveling ramps up everyone’s risk, especially if some travelers aren’t going along with proper guidelines. 

“If people aren’t following the steps they need to take to protect others, everyone’s risk goes up,” Labus told 8 News Now. “Not just the other tourists, but the people who are working in the casinos see an increased risk as well.”

He said anyone taking a trip to or from Nevada should consider any potential consequences. 

“Everybody needs to do their part,” Labus added. “Maintain social distancing, wear masks and do what you can to protect yourself and others when you visit Las Vegas.”

Therefore, tourists who shared their thoughts with 8 News Now said it’s important to take precautions to keep our city open and healthy. 

“It’s Vegas so you have to go and see things,” Rodriguez concluded. “But safely.”

8 News Now reached out to Governor Sisolak’s office Friday to see if any travel restrictions or guidelines were implemented since Tuesday, but we have not yet gotten a response. 

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