Doctor urges precautions as new COVID variant, crowded events cause concern in Southern Nevada

Doctors are urging precautions as a new COVID variant and crowded events are causing concern in Southern Nevada.
Published: Sep. 25, 2023 at 11:05 AM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - With several large-scale events coming to Las Vegas and a new COVID-19 variant spreading, some doctors in Southern Nevada are warning people to take precautions.

“The current variant of concern is what the new vaccine is targeting, and it seems like it’s very effective as well as very safe. It’s a monovalent vaccine, so it’s very targeted at the variant we think is most likely to be circulating this fall and winter,” said Dr. Christina Madison, Associate Professor of Pharmacy Practice at Roseman University of Health Sciences.

Dr. Madison said although statistics show our COVID case numbers are still fairly low in Southern Nevada, a rise in hospitalization numbers may be cause for concern.

There were more than 30,000 total COVID hospitalizations as of September 18, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

“We’ve seen a rise in hospitalizations,” said Dr. Madison. “That’s really the thing that we’re most concerned about because it does seem like the immunity that we had from either prior infection or prior vaccination seems to be waning.”

The federal government is now offering free COVID tests again, just in time for the Sphere opening, football season, Formula One and several other large-scale gatherings planned in Las Vegas.

“With these new events coming up, we’ve got this brand-new beautiful stadium that’s hosting all of this amazing entertainment for people to come here and to bring their infections with them, right? And so with that being said, if you are not going to go and get vaccinated, the least thing you can do is test.”

Dr. Madison recommends testing before and after any large events, and especially before any holiday gatherings with older family members or others at higher risk for COVID.