Health officials in Hawaii are sending a warning after residents traveled to Las Vegas before contracting COVID-19.
“This destination poses significant risks,” the Kaua‘i District Health Office said in a news release Wednesday.
Kaua‘i County – which includes the islands of Kauaʻi, Niʻihau, Lehua and Kaʻula – has a total of 494 confirmed cases. The 10 cases reported Wednesday included nine residents and one visitor. The source of infection for five of those cases was related to mainland travel.
“Many cases are in residents who have traveled, and Las Vegas is a popular destination,” the district wrote in a news release.
A sign at the host stand at Star Noodle in Lahaina, Hawaii, reminds guests of Hawaii’s indoor mask mandate.
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Nevada has resurfaced as a COVID-19 hot spot, as cases across the state jumped 51.8% in the past week. Clark County – home of the Las Vegas Strip – accounts for nearly 78% of COVID-19 cases in the state, as well as the highest incidence rate.
The surge is so concerning Clark County commissioners mandated that all employees working indoors in a public space must wear masks. In a travel advisory updated Wednesday, the city of Chicago urged unvaccinated people traveling to Las Vegas to quarantine for 10 days after returning.
Kaua‘i’ County officials described why Las Vegas is such a hazardous place to visit as the delta variant spreads and people get sick.
“The popular activities are largely indoors and can be crowded,” a news release said. “Visitors stay indoors for prolonged periods, mingling with others from all over the country. Masks are not required. The result is a set-up for the spread of COVID-19.”
A couple kiss as they celebrate New Year’s Eve along the Las Vegas Strip Thursday, Dec 31, 2020, in Las Vegas.
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The Southern Nevada Health District last week recommended mask wearing for vaccinated and unvaccinated people at crowded indoor public places. The district changed its mask policy following rising case rates and hospitalizations for COVID-19, which is seeing a resurgence because of the delta variant.
“If you plan a trip, please be vaccinated before you go,” Kaua‘i’ County officials said in a release. “And whether or not you are vaccinated, follow Hawai‘i’s prudent rules and wear a mask in crowded indoor settings.”
Ed Komenda writes about Las Vegas for the Reno Gazette Journal and USA Today Network. Do you care about democracy? Then support local journalism by subscribing to the Reno Gazette Journal right here.
This article originally appeared on Reno Gazette Journal: Hawaii county warns of travel to Las Vegas, a COVID-19 hotspot