DuAne Young from Gov. Steve Sisolak’s office told reporters Thursday that Nevada is starting to see the omicron surge develop rapidly across the state.
He said the number of infections is increasing in the north and south but the mask mandate has slowed the progress of the virus.
Officials across the country as well as in Nevada said omicron appears to be less deadly than previous variants — especially for those who have vaccinations and booster shots.
Young said so far, the state is handling the hospitalizations.
State Epidemiologist Melissa Peek-Bullock said omicron is the prevalent variant across the country and that, “we expect to see the same pattern in Nevada over the coming weeks.”
Peek said the latest guidance says asymptomatic people should isolate for at least five days if they test positive then wear a mask for another five days.
She said anyone who has symptoms but tests negative using a home test should go get a clinical test.
And officials urged people who are in that situation to help with contact tracing and responsibly report who they were in contact with.
Officials from the state Board of Pharmacy said Nevada received its first small shipment of the newly-approved Pfizer pills to combat the virus, nearly all of which went to long term care and skilled nursing facilities. They said Nevada is working to get more of those courses for expanded treatment.
Young also said Nevada is working to get more test kits.
Health Bureau Chief Karissa Loper said one bright spot is the growing number of children ages 5-11 getting vaccinated — more than 37,000 as of this past week.
Young said especially in Las Vegas and Reno, large crowds are expected for New Year’s celebrations.
Young said the governor never lifted the indoor mask requirement which helped slow the surge.
But he and other officials all said being in a large crowd outside is the same as being in a crowd indoors.
“So put your mask on,” he said. “Be as safe as possible.”
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