Nevada officials hope mask mandate brings progress in week or two

State health officials said Thursday they hope the reinstated mask mandates will show progress in controlling the latest COVID surge within a week or two.
Michelle White, chief of staff to Gov. Steve Sisolak, said the state will not require anyone to show proof of vaccination, but, she said, “that will not prevent private businesses from having mandates.”
Candice McDaniel of the Health and Human Services Department told reporters at the weekly pandemic update press conference that the masks required for indoor public places are in place because, “we’re hoping not to take a step backward.”
“We’re in a race against time to vaccinate more people before new variants emerge,” she said.
Even though case numbers are surging in Clark, Nye and Washoe counties, McDaniel said cases are 36 percent fewer than they were last year at this time and deaths are down 45 percent.
White said the rule is simple: when vaccinations go up, hospitalizations and deaths go down.
She said Nevada’s restrictions or the lack of restrictions are tied directly to the Centers for Disease Control’s and so indoor masking was automatically triggered when the CDC called for masking Tuesday.
As for enforcement, she said that is primarily in the hands of local authorities.
Dr. Ellie Graeden of Talus Analytics said the good news is vaccination rates are again rising a little bit, up 4 percent in the past two weeks with almost 2 percent more unvaccinated Nevadans getting their first shot.
“Unfortunately you do see cases continue to rise but vaccines are slowing the spread,” she said.
In addition, the vaccines continue to be very effective in preventing serious symptoms, hospitalizations and deaths.
The mask mandate takes effect at 12:01 a.m. Friday.


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