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Las Vegas doctor weighs in on future of COVID-19 pandemic |

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Las Vegas doctor weighs in on future of COVID-19 pandemic

LAS VEGAS (KLAS)-- Nearly two years after COVID-19 was declared a pandemic, an expert told 8 News Now there's a chance the situation could change for the better this year. 

"It is still unfortunate," Las Vegan Kyle Copley said of the COVID-19 pandemic's current state in Las Vegas. 

After a serious spike over the last few weeks, Clark County reported a drop in daily coronavirus cases on Thursday and Friday. 

On Friday, data released showed a drop of nearly 2,500 from the record of 6,110 cases reported on January 8, 2022. 

The county's test positivity rate has also held steady at 38.2%, which is the first time the percentage didn't rise since December 21. 

NEW: COVID-19 cases dropping as test positivity rate stops rising in Clark County

Marc J. Kahn, Dean of the Kirk Kerkorian School of Medicine at UNLV, told 8 News Now we are not out of the woods yet, but he sees positive signs. 

"I think there's reason to expect a light at the end of the tunnel," Dr. Kahn said of recent numbers released. 

"Over time, the virus becomes much more transmissible," he continued, "And much less likely to cause death."

According to the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory, Dr. Kahn said Omicron, which accounts for 99% of our state's cases, is milder for most who are vaccinated and follows that trend. 

"We're going to develop a herd immunity," Dr. Kahn explained. "From both vaccination and from natural infection."

Dr. Kahn explained that over time, viruses like COVID-19 become more 'endemic,' meaning they are much less lethal, like the flu or common cold. 

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"When we look historically at pandemics and the human population," Dr. Kahn explained further. "They last about two years; the viral pandemics, and we are about at this point now."

The consensus is Kahn, and other experts believe things could soon change for the better, giving us a glimpse of normalcy we've all wanted for so long. 

"It's eventually going to happen that way," Andrea Mota said of the virus. 

"It will get better," Copley concluded. 

Experts said there isn't a set timeline for a pandemic to endemic progression right now, and it all depends on future variants. 

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Hospitalizations are still high in Nevada, with hospitals reported as 98% full in Clark County. 

Therefore, Dr. Kahn still recommends getting vaccinated, receiving a booster, and wearing a mask.