COVID-19 positivity rate decreases; Task Force warns holidays may change that |

COVID-19 positivity rate decreases; Task Force warns holidays may change that

Nevada’s coronavirus task force director says the virus positivity rate is decreasing but Caleb Cage warned that the holidays will likely reverse that trend and increase the percentage again.

“We’re no longer experiencing the rapid increase we previously were,” he said. “But that’s not expected to continue because Christmas and New Year’s may lead to expected surges that overlap, a surge on top of a surge,” he said.

But he said it’s a good sign that for the first time in three weeks, the positivity rate is below 20 percent — although at 19.7 percent as of Monday, only slightly.

He said Nevadans need to observe the governor’s restrictions on gatherings and businesses to get through the holidays in the best shape possible. That means masks, social distancing, sanitization, gatherings limited to 50 people or 25 percent of capacity, whichever is less. He said private gatherings should be limited to 10 people from no more than two households and businesses including restaurants and bars limited to 25 percent as well.

Asked about the number of visitors coming for the holidays, Tourism Director Brenda Scolari said Las Vegas is open for business under the restrictions imposed by the governor.

“We are very much promoting the fact that properties in Las Vegas are acting with the safety of visitors in mind,” she said.

Julia Peek, deputy administrator in the health division, said Nevada has already received some 10,000 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and about 8,000 doses of the Moderna vaccine. She said more are expected late this week.

She said the state is likely past the potential surge in direct cases from Thanksgiving but that there could still be family members who get sick.

Across the state, all counties except Storey are flagged for high risk of transmission even though the 14-day positivity rate is decreasing.

There have now been 205,884 infections and 2,787 deaths from the virus in Nevada.