LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The most populated state in the United States has announced a major shift in COVID mitigation and is now targeting June 15 to relax most restrictions on businesses and workplaces.
On Tuesday, California authorities announced the date but said the target depends on hospital stays connected to the virus remaining low and stable as well as an ample supply of vaccine to keep up with demand.
Some see the announcement as a potential boost in business for nearby Las Vegas which has seen large numbers of California visitors since domestic and international air travel remains low and, in some cases, discouraged or highly restricted.
“This was a ghost town, it was completely shut down, everything was, I don’t think people understand how hard it was," said Eddie Powers as he was dressed as Elvis Presley at the Welcome to Las Vegas sign Tuesday.
Powers says there continues to be a noticeable turnaround and visitor volume is on the rise since vaccinations have increased and restrictions decreased.
"It really has, it's very exciting and gets me all shook up," added Powers.
Nevada authorities are preparing to hand over COVID safety controls from the state to local leaders starting on May 1.
13 Investigates has learned Clark County leaders plan to unveil their plan on April 20 during a county commission meeting and just days before it is to be presented to the state COVID-19 task force on April 23.
“As people get more vaccinated this is going to be an eventual return to normalcy," said Dr. Jeffrey Ng from Ng Family Healthcare in Las Vegas.
Dr. Ng says at his practice the number of people presenting with respiratory illness, namely COVID-19, has continued to drop.
A trend shared by Nevada's neighbors to the west.
“[California's] infectious rate definitely went down as ours has dropped down, except everyone’s having a little bit of a spike since spring break but our infection rate is still below 5% which is still a good thing. “
As of Tuesday, Nevada's infectious, or positivity rate, stands at 4.4%.