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Las Vegas area businesses prepare as COVID-19 cases surge

Posted at 9:46 PM, Jul 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-16 03:35:41-04

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — As COVID-19 cases across Nevada and Clark County are on the rise, Las Vegas area businesses are preparing for another wave of infections.

Verdi Pizza on Valley View Boulevard and Desert Inn Road has been serving up slices since 1992. Even though the pandemic, their takeout service kept the pizzeria cooking.

RELATED: New COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations soar in Nevada

"We went through some tough times," said owner Mahmout Mazloum. "But I’m ready. If it comes back, we’re ready.”

Right now, Nevada is above the national rate of residents receiving their first shot, and vaccinations among 12 to 17-year-olds are up 32% since the announcement of Vax Nevada Days, the campaign raffling off millions of dollars to vaccinated Nevadans.

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Yet, even with cash prize incentives and dozens of pop-up clinics, the state’s hospitalizations have increased nearly 80% over the past two weeks. The Nevada Department of Health reports the test positivity rate has spiked to 10.9%.

The White House has declared Clark County a “sustained hot spot.”

RELATED: Clark County declared 'sustained hotspot' by White House COVID-19 Team

Nearly 40% of Nevadans are not vaccinated, and now some businesses are strongly urging their employees to get the shot.

Verdi Pizza believes it’s an employee’s choice whether to get vaccinated, but those who choose not to must abide by CDC guidance: wearing masks and remaining socially distanced.

In the meantime, Mazloum is more focused on filling vacant staff positions. Like several local businesses, Verdi Pizza has had to shorten business hours as they struggle to find workers.

RELATED: Las Vegas businesses, now without COVID-19 restrictions, struggle to find willing workers

“I put ads everywhere, and I mean everywhere, and I got no response.”

Mazloum hopes to have a full staff by September, while state leaders project at the current rate, it’ll take until the end of this year to vaccinate 70% of Nevadans.