‘The pandemic isn’t over just yet’: Experts ask Las Vegans to follow mandates as videos of large crowds circulate

Local News

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As COVID positivity rates remain at record lows, everyone is thrilled to see Las Vegas bounce back, but experts told 8 News Now it’s important to remember the pandemic isn’t over just yet. 

“I love Vegas,” one tourist told 8 News Now Friday. “It’s coming back to life!”

“As long as everybody stays safe,” another tourist said. “No complaints.”

Many are ecstatic to see casinos, bars and businesses open after an incredibly difficult year, but experts worry some may be throwing caution to the wind too soon. 

“Things are heading in the right direction,” UNLV Assistant Professor of Public Health Brian Labus said of our local COVID-19 numbers. “But it doesn’t mean we’re at our destination yet.”

Courtesy: @ChefGibson 

As Nevada recorded an incredibly low positivity rate of 4.5% on Friday, Labus said things are looking better than they have in months, but on a national scale, the CDC reported a seven percent uptick in cases this week, as some ignore mask mandates and capacity restrictions. 

“We can go out, we can do things more often, we can gather more often,” Labus explained. “But we still need to wear masks to basically counteract that risk that comes along with all those activities.”

However, Labus said some crowds without masks seen over the past few weeks have the potential to derail our progress.

“Right now, we basically have a race between the virus and vaccinations,” Labus said. “We want to get everyone vaccinated but we could see a surge before we get to that point.”

Therefore, if we want to see that slice of normalcy soon, it’s time to push through to a better, brighter future. 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board sent a reminder that casino pools must stay at 50% capacity after videos of recent crowds circulated during March Madness celebrations. 

Nevada’s mask mandate also remains in place for Las Vegas residents and tourists alike. 

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