Nevada health officials say while COVID cases are down 4.5 percent over the past two weeks in Clark County, they are up 11.5 percent from last week in Washoe and Nevada’s rural counties.
Dr. Ellie Graeden of Talus Analytics said one factor is that stricter mitigation requirements, including masks, were implemented in Clark County in July but not in other counties until much more recently.
“Obviously it’s working,” she said of Clark County.
She said health experts are concerned about the increases in Washoe and rural counties but expected to see increases because tougher mitigation measures weren’t being followed.
Asked about a significant number of correctional officers threatening to quit rather than get vaccinated, DuAne Young of the governor’s office and Graeden said in other areas of the country, when push came to shove, many of those people took the shots rather than lose their job.
“We hear a lot of pushback up front but the actual numbers end up much lower,” said Graeden.
Young said despite the complaints, the number of state workers getting vaccinated has increased since Gov. Steve Sisolak issued the mandate that state employees who care for vulnerable populations, including inmates, be vaccinated.
She also said that new data show that masking is “very effective,” reducing infection by 11 percent for all people and by 35 percent for those older than 65.
Deputy Health and Human Services Director Candice McDaniel said more than 3 million shots have now been administered to people with a Nevada address.
She said the state is hoping to get some clarity from the federal government in the next few weeks on President Joe Biden’s requirements that all federal workers and their contractors get vaccinated and that workers in all businesses with more than 100 employees either vaccinate them or require weekly tests.
She said the business requirement will impact about 1,500 Nevada businesses.