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New study ranks Nevada one of the riskiest places to travel for Thanksgiving

Study: 15th overall riskiest, 8th when looking at hospitals, health
Thanksgiving dinner
Posted at 5:33 AM, Nov 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-24 00:00:23-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — A new study revealed Nevada is one of the riskiest states to travel to this Thanksgiving. 

The study, done by QuoteWizard, analyzed everything from hospital capacity and COVID-19 cases to car crashes and DUIs. Overall, they determined Nevada is the 15th riskiest place to travel to this Thanksgiving.

When looking at just health components alone, the company tells 13 Action News that Nevada ranks as the 8th riskiest.

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"They pretty much boil down to COVID-19 deaths, current cases, how many people are vaccinated and hospital capacity," said Nick VanZant, the senior research analyst at QuoteWizard.

"I think some people may look at the study and say they are just some rankings from some website, but it’s not," he added. "These are numbers from the CDC, these are the facts that are there."

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VanZant said Nevada is dealing with a shortage of healthcare workers.

"On average, there are about 2.05 healthcare workers per 1,000 people. What really jumped out at us about Nevada is that 83% of hospital ICU beds are currently in use. That is a high number nationwide,” VanZant said. 

Health experts say vaccinated or not, it’s a good idea to steer clear of places with high infection rates adding the more you’re in contact with the coronavirus, especially the highly contagious delta variant, the higher the chance of an infection.

NATIONALLY: US sees rise of COVID-19 infections ahead of the holidays

“It’s not surprising that after the holidays when a lot of people travel and a lot of people come together that normally don't, we might see an increase in disease so it’s entirely possible," said Dr. Brian Labus, an infectious disease epidemiologist at UNLV. 

"We’re hoping that doesn’t happen but that is something that you could see over the next few weeks with Thanksgiving and Christmas," he said.

Labus says if people are traveling to places with high infection rates, masking up is recommended to protect those around you. 

“Anything you can do to protect the people that you want to spend the holidays with is welcome,” Labus said.