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New data shows jump in COVID cases for visitors to Nevada

Updated August 8, 2020 - 1:22 pm

The number of visitors to Nevada who have tested positive for COVID-19 since casinos reopened almost tripled last month, according to newly released state data.

The Department of Health and Human services reported that as of July 25, at least 347 visitors had tested positive for the novel coronavirus either while in the state or soon after returning home. The data dates back to June 1; casinos reopened June 4.

As of July 6, only 123 infected visitors had been identified, according to department data released last month.

The data is communicated among states using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Interstate Communication Control Record system, department deputy administrator Julia Peek said in an interview last month.

More than 1 million visitors came to Las Vegas in June, according to Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority data released Friday. July visitation numbers are not yet available.

The infected visitors hailed from 32 states, Mexico and Brazil. More than 150 are from California, 89 are from Arizona and 20 are from Texas.

Nearly all of the visitors who have been identified as infected tested positive while in Nevada.

But the data shows that Nevada officials know of only 10 visitors who tested positive after returning home. State health officials did not immediately respond to a request Friday for comment about the seemingly low number.

Among Nevada residents, the number of identified COVID-19 cases has increased more than sixfold since casinos began reopening. More than 54,000 cases had been identified throughout the state’s outbreak as of Friday.

Gov. Steve Sisolak in July ordered bars closed in several counties to help curb the spread of the disease. They remain shuttered in Clark County, where the vast majority of the state’s COVID-19 cases and deaths have been identified.

Contact Michael Scott Davidson at sdavidson@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861. Follow @davidsonlvrj on Twitter.

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