Undercurrent

Sisolak’s COVID advisor wants mask mandate at UNLV, colleges in Southern Nevada

By: - July 23, 2021 11:38 am
down the street

(Nevada Current file photo)

A member of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s COVID-19 Medical Advisory Team says Clark County’s mask mandate for employees but not the public won’t stop the spread of the more virulent Delta variant and is calling for mandatory masks at state colleges and universities in Southern Nevada. 

Brian Labus, an infectious disease epidemiologist and assistant professor at UNLV’s School of Public Health, told the Nevada Board of Regents Friday that Nevada has led the nation in new cases since June. 

“Nevada has some of the worst vaccination rates in the country, and unvaccinated people have generally ignored the mandate that they wear masks,” he said. “As a result, SNHD (Southern Nevada Health District) recommended that all people wear masks in public settings regardless of immunization status.”

But Clark County Commissioners voted to mandate masks for employees only, a move Labus called “nonsensical.”  

“This limited mask mandate will do little to stop the spread of COVID at the county level, and even less at Clark County NSHE institutions,” Labus said. 

“The idea that we will stop the spread of disease in a large lecture hall by only requiring that the professor wear a mask, or that we can protect tens of thousands of fans at a UNLV football game by only making the ushers and food vendors wear masks is simply nonsensical,” Labus said. “Until most of our campus population is vaccinated, we must do everything we can to stop COVID. This means immediately requiring that all members of the Southern Nevada NSHE community wear masks.”

Sisolak’s office did not immediately respond to questions about the governor’s communication with his medical advisors, or whether he intends to mandate masks for all in Southern Nevada. 

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Dana Gentry
Dana Gentry

Dana Gentry is a native Las Vegan and award-winning investigative journalist. She is a graduate of Bishop Gorman High School and holds a Bachelor's degree in Communications from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Gentry began her career in broadcasting as an intern at Channel 8, KLAS-TV. She later became a reporter at Channel 8, working with Las Vegas TV news legends Bob Stoldal and the late Ned Day. Gentry left her reporting job in 1985 to focus on motherhood. She returned to TV news in 2001 to launch "Face to Face with Jon Ralston" and the weekly business programs In Business Las Vegas and Vegas Inc, which she co-anchored with Jeff Gillan. Dana has four adult children, two grandsons, three dogs, three cats and a cockatoo named Casper.

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