Hawaii health leaders say Las Vegas ‘poses significant risks’ for coronavirus

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County pinpoints Las Vegas as area of transmission

FILE – This Oct. 20, 2009 file photo shows casinos on the Las Vegas Strip. A jump in winnings by casinos in Nevada in June helped push statewide fiscal year gambling figures up a tick, to more than $11.9 billion for the 12 months ending June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Isaac Brekken, File)

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Health leaders in one Hawaiian county are pinpointing Las Vegas as an area of concern when it comes to their rising COVID-19 cases.

“Many cases are in residents who have traveled, and Las Vegas is a popular destination,” Kaua’i County leaders said in a news release. “This destination poses significant risks.”

The county reported 10 new coronavirus cases Wednesday.

“The popular activities are largely indoors and can be crowded,” the news release said. “Visitors stay indoors for prolonged periods, mingling with others from all over the country. Masks are not required. The result is a set-up for the spread of COVID-19. If you plan a trip, please be vaccinated before you go. And whether or not you are vaccinated, follow Hawaii’s prudent rules and wear a mask in crowded indoor settings.”

On Tuesday, Chicago added Nevada to a list of states within its travel advisory due to an increase in cases.

Clark County commissioners on Tuesday approved a mask mandate that applies to employees at all businesses in the county. The mandate goes into effect on Thursday at 12 a.m.

The requirement applies regardless of whether the employee is vaccinated but is only in effect indoors “in public spaces at their place of work.”

A look at trends in hospitalizations and the state’s test positivity rate show no sign of slowing. Health officials reported 28 new deaths reported statewide on Wednesday — 27 of those deaths came in Clark County.

The state’s test positivity rate is at 12.6%, growing steadily since mid-June. That growth is being fueled by the infections in Clark County, where 14% of COVID-19 tests are coming back positive.

Clark County remains a “sustained hotspot” being watched by the federal government, according to a White House COVID-19 Team report updated this week.

A White House report last week singled out the Las Vegas metro area as the worst in the nation for transmission of the virus among metro areas with more than 1 million people. This week’s report lists Las Vegas as No. 4, only behind three Florida cities, including Jacksonville, Orlando, and Miami.

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