LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The recent COVID-19 spike in Nevada has prompted a visit from U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra.
Becerra was in Las Vegas on Thursday to meet with the federal COVID-19 surge response team, Gov. Steve Sisolak and other local officials. He toured the Clark County Fire Department Training Facility and a pop-up COVID-19 vaccine and testing clinic at Sherman Gardens.
The U.S. health secretary's visit comes after COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have been on the rise in the past few weeks. So much so, places like Los Angeles County, Chicago and Hawaii recommend their residents, especially the unvaccinated, avoid visiting Nevada.
“Without a doubt, you got probably more flow of people from different environments here in Nevada than in other states, “ said Becerra.
So far, most of the vaccination efforts have been with residents, especially in minority communities where cases have been steady.
One example is Sherman Gardens, where volunteers and local government officials went door to door to talk with residents.
“Our rate had gone up in terms of vaccinations, but it is getting harder and harder and more labor-intensive to give each other shots in somebody's arm," said Gov. Sisolak.
"So it's taking events like this in small sites, microsites, pop-up sites, to actually be in the community and get people to come on down and get their shot, “ he said.
Edward Taylor just finished his vaccination process and he said his children were the reason why he finally got vaccinated.
“If everybody doesn't do it out of fear, then less people [are] protected," said Taylor.
"So I just went ahead and manned up, put it in my body first to see how I reacted, which was fine, and then I let my teenager get it," he said. "And the rest of my family did it too."
However, health authorities know that there's still a lot of work to do in our state.
“There are still people that we can reach, and we have to be realistic and see what the data is telling us," said FEMA Acting Associate Administrator Dave Bibo.
"Which is, that a there are unvaccinated people, that those unvaccinated people are higher risk because they're getting sick, they're getting hospitalized and that gives us purpose every day."
Health officials from all government levels recommend you get your vaccinations to protect yourself, your loved ones and the community, as well as to avoid more restrictions in the Las Vegas valley.