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Nevada becomes latest Covid-19 hotspot, as hospitalizations rise and vaccination rates plateau – KION546

Ed Lavandera and Ashley Killough, CNN

At Robert Taylor’s Las Vegas barber shop, Clipper’s humming and friendly jokes welcome him back to normal after the outbreak of a small Covid-19 among his staff.

Three of his barbers got sick last month on Covid-19. The two were able to get back to work, but the third is still waiting for permission. However, this outbreak served as a wake-up call to Taylor and the close community he formed at Fade’Em All Barbershops.

“The hairdresser is a place of transparency, truth, debate and brotherhood,” Taylor said. The biggest debate in stores these days is whether to get vaccinated, especially in the Las Vegas area, as the number of cases of Covid-19 is skyrocketing.

Taylor said he was hospitalized for the virus last year, but was reluctant to get the vaccine even after it became widely available this spring.

Now, after doing some research and seeing the virus catch his friends and employees this summer, he began to believe in the vaccine without embarrassment. He even partnered with local health authorities to open his own store as a vaccine clinic over the weekend.

In the last two weeks, 18 people have been vaccinated at his hairdresser. The numbers may not sound like much, but Taylor is relieved to know that each shot makes a difference when the delta variant leads to rapid community expansion.

“People who say’not 100%’, and I don’t have’100%’. I don’t go home 100%, but I wear seat belts,” he says. I did. “And that vaccine is a seat belt.”

The virus epidemic in Taylor’s hairdressers is a snapshot of the nasty reality of the entire state of Nevada. Although the number of cases and hospitalizations is increasing, interest in vaccination has leveled off.

State and federal authorities across the country are working with local community leaders, such as pastors and barbers, to encourage word-of-mouth missions on vaccines. This is often seen as the most powerful way to persuade skeptics.

Nevada “Breeding Grounds for New Subspecies”

In Clark County, including Las Vegas, only 39% of the total population is fully vaccinated. According to Nevada Covid-19 data.

In early June, the county reported about 130 new cases per day on a 14-day moving average. However, that number surged dramatically, with the county reporting 675 new cases on Tuesday.

Hospitalizations also surged from 178 in mid-June to more than 900 in Clark County this week, according to state Covid-19 data. Recent numbers have begun to peak similar to what the county saw during the summer surge of 2020, and county commissioners demanded on Tuesday that corporate employees wear masks in public indoor spaces. Voted to do.

The White House has labeled the county as a persistent hotspot for new infections, and the Biden administration has sent a FEMA surge team to Nevada to support immunization efforts throughout the state.

Health officials know it’s a difficult battle. According to the results of a new poll, the majority of unvaccinated Americans said they were completely unlikely to be vaccinated, regardless of their outreach efforts. Published by Axios-Ipsos on Tuesday.

According to a poll consisting of a national representative sample of the US general population of 1,048, conducted July 16-19, less than a quarter of unvaccinated people were vaccinated under certain circumstances. He said he was likely to be vaccinated.

“The majority are not yet convinced, indicating that these’vaccine holdouts’ may not be immediately upset,” Ipsos said.

Dr. Shadaba Assad, director of infectious diseases at the University Medical Center in Las Vegas, said the hospital is better equipped to handle the current surge than it was a year ago. She said the hardest part of this time was knowing that more vaccines could have prevented the increase.

She attributed the recent increase in Covid cases to the unvaccinated population, A “breeding ground” for delta variants and other variants that may emerge.

“As long as there is a heavy burden on your community that is currently alive by unvaccinated people, the virus will mutate and new variants will emerge,” she said. “It’s only a matter of time before the vaccine comes across a mutant that doesn’t provide that much protection, so unvaccinated people are literally hotbeds of new variants, so we are vaccinated. It poses a great threat to the rest of us. “

Indifference to vaccines is “really disappointing,” says district health officials

Further north of Nevada, Washoe County, including Reno, has high immunization rates, with 48% of the county’s total population fully vaccinated.

The county health department next to the Rino Rodeo Arena has converted the parking lot into a mass vaccination site. However, interest in the Covid-19 vaccine is declining, and so is the car line.

Kevin Dick, Washoe County District Health Officer, said the county vaccination site was vaccinated 2,800 times a day during peak hours. This week, that number plummeted to about 140 per day. He said other pharmacies in the region have also explained the increase in vaccination, but overall the trend of vaccination is declining.

“It’s really disappointing. It’s frustrating,” Dick said. “We need people to step up and do the right thing for themselves and the community.”

Dick said that one of the biggest threats to vaccination rates is a virus that spreads false information, especially about vaccines that affect childbirth. He said rumors are causing a significant faction of young people to be prevented from being vaccinated.

“People want to believe in something more sensational. On social media, we know that sensational misinformation moves faster than true stories,” Dick said.

In recent weeks, Nevada has launched a weekly lottery to award money to residents who have begun the vaccine process. The state has awarded $ 5 million in prize money by the end of August, and the grand prize is a $ 1 million jackpot.

But even this vaccine effort has been hampered by anti-vaccine hecklers. In the first draw hosted by Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak, a man with a loudspeaker said the vaccine was “destroying people,” despite evidence that the vaccine was safely administered to tens of millions of people. Shouted.

When the man was taken out of the lottery by security guards, Sisorak immediately sought to reassure the crowd monitoring the safety of the vaccine.

“Some individuals don’t understand that vaccines are completely safe,” Sisolak said. “They have been tested and we are helping to save lives. That’s what we do.”

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Nevada becomes latest Covid-19 hotspot, as hospitalizations rise and vaccination rates plateau – KION546 Source link Nevada becomes latest Covid-19 hotspot, as hospitalizations rise and vaccination rates plateau – KION546

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