Hawaii health officials join chorus of warnings about Las Vegas travel

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Las Vegas's famous sign in September 2019 on the Strip.

Las Vegas’s famous sign in September 2019 on the Strip.

ANDREY DENISYUK/Getty Images

After a string of COVID-19 infections were reportedly traced back to travelers returning from Las Vegas, one county in Hawaii is sounding the alarm on travel to the Sin City.

Las Vegas is so popular in Hawaii that it’s often colloquially referred to as its ninth island. But the state’s Department of Health branch in Kauai warns that Las Vegas “poses significant risks” due to the lax restrictions in the city, according to multiple media reports.

“Visitors stay indoors for prolonged periods, mingling with others from all over the country,” reads the news release. “Masks are not required. The result is a set-up for the spread of COVID-19.”


The news release further urges vaccination among travelers, and mask-wearing for all “in crowded indoor settings” regardless of vaccination status.

Even Kauai mayor Derek Kawakami, reported KITV in Honolulu, chimed in. “I know Las Vegas is a popular destination but it poses significant risks,” he said during a Monday press conference, per the news station.

Concerns over traveling to Vegas are mounting in the mainland as well. This week, Chicago added the state of Nevada to its travel advisory amid an uptick in cases powered largely by the delta variant. Los Angeles County health officials have also cautioned against travel to Vegas.

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