Nevada Lawmakers Implore Mask Use To Lower COVID Risk

Compliance Of Mandate Better In Northern Part Of The State

Associated Press
July 08, 2020 - 5:25 am
Las Vegas entertainers pose after participating in a fashion show at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign on the Las Vegas Strip to kick off the pro-mask wearing campaign

Ethan Miller/Getty Images

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LAS VEGAS, NV (AP) - A day ahead of a political action group’s planned “No Mask Nevada” protest in Henderson, the chairwoman of the lawmaking body with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip said county code officers, state casino regulators and Occupational Safety and Health inspectors had visited thousands of businesses since Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate took effect June 26.

Nevada OSHA reported Tuesday that mask use at the 169 stores, pharmacies and restaurants its inspectors visited statewide on Monday was nearly nine in 10 in northern Nevada and eight in 10 in southern Nevada.

Kirkpatrick conceded that officials have found mask use scarce at Las Vegas resort pools, and said she was considering issuing a new advisory for those locations.

Late last week, regulators reported just 40% compliance at casino and hotel swimming pools.

“Wearing masks and social distancing are more important than ever,” Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 response director, told reporters in a separate briefing.

Cage said the state is seeing an increase in the virus, with hospitalizations more than doubled since last month. But he said there has been enough hospital space, about one in four intensive care beds remained open statewide, and about two-thirds of ventilators remained available for use.

The state Department of Health and Human Services reported Tuesday that 23,785 Nevada residents have tested positive for COVID-19, an increase of 876 since Sunday. Eleven additional deaths brought that number to at least 548.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness and death. The vast majority recover.