s several U.S. jurisdictions are advising residents to avoid traveling to Las Vegas as the highly transmissible COVID-19 Delta variant fuels rising case counts in Nevada, Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority is working with casino resorts and an advertising agency to encourage and facilitate vaccination.
As of July 23, cases across the state had risen 23% over the previous week, while hospital admissions rose by 7%. Clark County, which includes the city of Las Vegas, has specifically been added to the White House’s list of areas of concern and is considered a “sustained hot spot” for COVID-19 transmission, with Nevada being labeled a “high transmission state,” 8 News Now reports.
Last week, Hawaii’s Kauai County warned its residents not to visit Las Vegas, with Mayor Derek Kawakami calling Las Vegas the “biggest hot spot” source for COVID-19’s importation to the island over the past several weeks. Northern California’s Contra Costa County officials warned Bay Area residents that going to Las Vegas right now is very risky, especially if they’re unvaccinated. The Chicago Department of Public Health also added Nevada last week, among other states, to its renewed travel advisory after several weeks where there had been no states that surpassed the threshold of 15 new cases per 100,000 residents per day.
Clark County commissioners have mandated that all of Las Vegas’ indoor workers, including casinos, must mask up again through at least Aug. 17, but stopped short of requiring tourists to wear masks.
These recent developments come at a time when meetings and trade shows are starting to reappear at local convention centers, major special events are being scheduled at performance venues and the Raiders and Golden Knights anticipate packed stadiums when their seasons start in a few months. Also, McCarran International Airport is reopening its E gates to domestic airlines as carriers such as Frontier Airlines go through major expansions in Las Vegas.
Billy Vassiliadis, a principal with Las Vegas-based agency R&R Partners, which this month was awarded an advertising contract from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that currently the message is directed more locally about the importance of being vaccinated to people’s lives and to the livelihood of the tourism economy.
He said local leaders want to be respectful of the health officials in other states, so the LVCVA will work more toward joining the state and county to deliver more vaccination sites with the help of the LVCVA’s resort partners.
“Vegas is so visible and it’s easy to point to, but I’m going to guess that a lot of those states are having folks come from other states that are causing equal or greater problems,” Vassiliadis said. “And those states are having their own challenges of getting their own people vaccinated.”