Updated August 4, 2021 - 12:05 pm
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman said Wednesday she recently tested positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated.
Goodman, 82, said her symptoms were mild and she took 10 days to quarantine, explaining during Wednesday’s City Council meeting why she had missed the previous meeting two weeks ago.
It was an apparent breakthrough case, where a fully vaccinated person contracts the virus, as Goodman noted that she had received both doses of the Pfizer vaccine.
“I have no idea because I’m out there all the time — probably inappropriately — hugging and touching people all the time, and that’s how I choose to operate,” she said. “And that’s how I will continue to choose to operate. I get to choose how I am.”
But the mayor, who has been criticized in the past for downplaying the seriousness of the virus, also asked people to get inoculated “if in fact it’s in your purview,” saying she realized there were reasons why some could not.
Age eligibility and allergy history are the reasons why people would fit into that category, according to Brian Labus, an epidemiologist and assistant professor with the UNLV School of Public Health.
People under 12 years old are currently not eligible for a vaccine in Nevada, and anyone highly allergic to a component in a vaccine should not get one, he said.
There are individuals with complex medical histories who may be advised to hold off, such as someone currently undergoing chemotherapy, but the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says vaccines are safe for most people with underlying health conditions.
Goodman has been treated twice for breast cancer, most recently after announcing a diagnosis in 2019.
As of last week there were 235 reported breakthrough cases requiring hospitalization in Nevada, according to state figures. Forty-two cases resulted in death, accounting for only a sliver of reported deaths from COVID-19 in the state.