The Southern Nevada Health District recommended that everyone, regardless of vaccination status, wear face masks in crowded indoor places to prevent the spread of COVID-19 on Friday.
“As COVID-19 case counts and the positivity rate continues to increase in our community, the Southern Nevada Health District is now recommending both unvaccinated and vaccinated people wear masks in crowded indoor public places where they may have contact with others who are not fully vaccinated,” the health department says in a press statement. The health department specifically noted that masks should be worn at grocery stores, malls, large events, and casinos.
The news comes after a rise in the number of cases and slowing vaccine rates in Clark County. The seven-day moving average is 474.7 new cases of COVID-19 as of July 11, the latest data available. The health department reported 771 new COVID-19 cases, 51 hospitalizations, and 13 deaths on July 9.
The move prompted Las Vegas Sands and its Venetian and Palazzo resorts along with Westgate to require staff to wear masks while they are working.
While the new recommendation is not a mandate from the city, Clark County, or state of Nevada yet, it serves as a reminder that the pandemic is far from over. Gov. Steve Sisolak dropped the mask mandate for vaccinated people statewide in May.
Everyone age 12 and older is eligible to get vaccinated. Only 43.3 percent of Nevadans are fully vaccinated.
Last week, Los Angeles County’s top health official told residents, especially those who are unvaccinated, to reconsider traveling to Nevada, where COVID-19 rates recently increased.