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Visitors flock to Las Vegas as COVID-19 cases climb, experts flag metro area for high transmission rates |

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Visitors flock to Las Vegas as COVID-19 cases climb, experts flag metro area for high transmission rates

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — As health officials sounded the alarm over rising COVID-19 numbers Friday, Las Vegas was packed with locals and visitors ready to enjoy another weekend of entertainment. 

"Everything was pretty crowded," Las Vegas visitor Shawday Sikes said of the Strip Friday.

After months of COVID-19 restrictions, casinos have ditched capacity limits, as concerts and sports venues are once again packed with people. 

However, few are wearing masks, and experts call our latest trends concerning. 

The CDC issued a warning for anyone unvaccinated Friday, while The Southern Nevada Health District recommended everyone wear face coverings indoors again, regardless of vaccination status. 

"We have seen a steady increase of the number of cases reported here in the last few weeks," SNHD District Officer Dr. Fermin Leguen said during a news conference Friday. 

As our state positivity rate climbed to 11.3% this week, The White House COVID-19 team cited Las Vegas as the worst large metro area in the nation for virus transmission. 

To view more on this report, CLICK HERE.

"I got it twice," Las Vegas visitor Mike Scully said of his experience. "And I don't know how and when, or why."

However, some told 8 News Now this news won't change their plans. 

"We're coming out here, we're taking that risk," tourist Mike Eason said. "We are willing to take that risk to have a good time."

While others encourage everyone to get vaccinated, so we can stay open and get this surge under control. 

"Get a shot or wear a mask," Las Vegas visitor Bryant said conversely. "It's pretty simple."

"It's sad that we're in this state," Scully concluded. "Having to deal with it."

Some casinos on the Strip reinstated their mask mandates for employees Friday, regardless of vaccination status. 

As of Friday, 46% of those eligible in Nevada were fully vaccinated, which is below the national average. 

For a look at Nevada's latest COVID-19 numbers, CLICK HERE.