LAS VEGAS – More than 25 percent of people recently infected with COVID-19 in Clark County – home of the Las Vegas Strip – may have contracted or helped spread the contagious illness at a hotel, motel or resort.
That’s according to Nevada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force, which for the first time Thursday revealed there may be a connection between positive cases and the Las Vegas Strip corridor.
Nevada Department of Health and Human Services deputy administrator Julia Peek said 26% of people infected in Clark County involved in contact tracing investigations over the past 30 days mentioned visiting a hotel, motel or resort.
Infected people mentioned visiting a “food establishment” like restaurants or grocery stores in 12% of cases, Peek said.
But the data “does not mean that the business is associated with the exposure,” Peek said. “It just means that that person happened to name it during the case investigation and more information needs to be obtained through that investigation process.”
Caleb Cage, who heads Nevada’s COVID-19 task force, asked Peek to clarify her report about the connection between positive cases and the places the infected visited.
“If an industry or a company or a location or whatever public or private entity comes up on the list, to be clear, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person was infected there, it means that a person had been there at some point before or after [or] around the time they started exhibiting symptoms,” Cage said. “Is that an accurate statement?”
“You explained it perfectly,” Peek said.
The new data arrived on the same day Wynn Las Vegas revealed the resort logged almost 500 positive COVID-19 cases among employees since the resort reopened in June.
With the help of University Medical Center, the company has conducted 15,051 tests, aiming to catch any employees who are positive for the virus but asymptomatic.
Of those 15,051 tests, there have been 548 positive cases – a positivity rate of 3.6%. Of the total, 51 positive cases were recorded pre-reopening and 497 were post-reopening, according to the company.
Wynn Las Vegas has hosted more than 500,000 guests since reopening in early June. Six guests have tested positive, according to the company.
In Clark County, home of The Strip, more than 63,000 positive COVID-19 cases have been recorded. Statewide, Nevada has logged more than 74,000 cases.
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.