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Clark County reaches high COVID transmission, urges mask-wearing indoors

Jannelle Calderon
Jannelle Calderon
CoronavirusHealth Care
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Four months after the state’s mask mandate was lifted, the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD) announced Clark County has reached high COVID-19 community transmission and “strongly” recommends people wear masks in public indoor places. 

The Friday announcement comes as weekly case averages have been on an upward trend for the last few weeks. As of June 8, SNHD reported more than 6,000 cases in the last seven days

“Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic is not behind us yet,” SNHD District Health Officer Fermin Leguen said in a statement. “As long as the virus is still circulating in our community, there is still the opportunity for surges in case counts and hospitalizations such as the one we are experiencing now.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention measures COVID-19 community levels using a combination of three metrics, including new COVID-19 hospital admissions, the percentage of inpatient beds occupied by COVID-19 patients, and the total new COVID-19 patients per 100,000 population in the past 7 days. 

Clark is the only county in Nevada now measuring at a “high” level by the CDC, although Washoe, Nye and Esmeralda counties are listed at a “medium” level. The remaining counties are categorized as “low.”

Asked whether he would consider reinstating a mask mandate, Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office said in a statement that he “[encourages] Nevadans who wish to do so to wear a mask" and get vaccinated or boosted. The statement added that state “experts and analysts are not alarmed” at the recent increase in cases and do not believe it will pose a threat to strain Nevada's health care infrastructure or the ability to care for patients. 

In addition to wearing masks indoors, SNHD also recommended individuals keep up on their COVID-19 vaccines, and urged people experiencing symptoms or who have been in contact with someone sick to get tested and stay home. SNHD recommends isolating for five days after testing positive for COVID-19 — or wearing a mask around others for five days if asymptomatic.

COVID-19 vaccines and testing are still available in locations throughout the county. This week SNHD announced new vending machines with COVID-19 self-test kits at the Regional Transportation Commission’s (RTC) Bonneville transit center and at the Mesa View Regional Hospital. 

For more information and detailed graphs, check out our COVID-19 data page.

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