Health officials urge precautions as local COVID-19 cases increase

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — For the first time since late April, there has been a slight uptick in daily positive cases of COVID-19. But health officials said this was expected.

The increase is due to the fact more tests are available, and more people are going out in public. While the rise of cases is small, health officials want people to continue to be cautious.

“We signed up yesterday, and we are here today. It couldn’t be easier,” said testee Ammar Kuppa.

Before traveling, the Kuppa family wanted to take precautions.

“My dad isn’t in great health, so I want to make sure I am negative,” explained Kuppa.

They came to Thomas and Mack at UNLV for the drive-thru COVID-19 test. Brian O’Neal, incident commander of the testing site, said results come back in about a day.

“Our test is an oral swab,” said O’Neal. “It takes about 10 seconds. It is quick and painless. I did it on my first day here; it is super easy.”

Dr. Michael Gardner, CEO of the UNLV School of Medicine, said the uptick is expected as testing becomes more simple and more are performed.

“Of course we are going to see an increase,” said Gardner. “Can we control an increase? Can we keep it manageable to where we don’t overwhelm the system where we don’t see a huge spike in cases?”

As of now, hospital beds are not at capacity. The key is keeping it that way.

People should continue to social distance and use masks.

“We have to be cognizant that we are living with a virus, and the infections will be out there,” urged Gardner, “and common sense suggests, particularly if you are in a higher risk group for whatever reason, is to be cautious.”

Gardner said in the next week or two, we should know better where we stand when it comes to a rise in cases.

As of now, taking precautions like the Kuppas is important.

“I think it is great everything is opening up, but everyone should still be careful,” said Kuppa.

You do not need an appointment to have a test at Thomas and Mack. The incident commander expects the location to be open until at least July.

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