LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Over the last two weeks, there's been a steady increase in the number of daily COVID-19 cases throughout Nevada. The state's test positivity rate has also been on the rise, now up to 5.5%. It's even higher in Southern Nevada at 5.8%.
Meanwhile, the more contagious Delta variant is spreading in Clark County. The Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) says it has diagnosed 146 cases so far, which accounts for 16% of all cases since the variant was discovered in Southern Nevada.
SNHD officials say they are keeping a close eye on this concerning trend, but are they considering new restrictions to try to slow down the spread of the virus?
Officials say they are not currently considering bringing back restrictions like capacity limits and mask mandates. They provided an update to local news outlets today on Zoom and said they're sticking with the CDC's guidance that fully vaccinated people do not need to wear a mask indoors.
That's despite the World Health Organization recommending everyone wear masks, even if they're vaccinated because the Delta variant is surging in different parts of the world. Los Angeles County just issued similar guidance urging everyone to wear masks, including folks who are fully vaccinated.
But, the SNHD says it's not necessary. They say they don't want new restrictions to take away from their vaccination campaign, which is their top priority right now. Local health officials maintain the vaccine is the best solution to slow down the virus and the only way to end this ongoing pandemic.
In the last three months, the SNHD says 95% of the people who have been admitted to the hospital with COVID-19 or died from COVID-19 have been unvaccinated.
Right now, the health district says 61% of adults in Clark County over the age of 16 have received at least one dose of the vaccine. That's below the national average of 66%, or about two out of every three adults over the age of 18.
According to Nevada Health Response, 44% of people over the age of 12 in Clark County are fully vaccinated, compared to 54% of all Americans older than 12 who are fully vaccinated. Local health officials say that disparity is contributing to the rising number of COVID-19 cases here in Clark County.