Las Vegas medical doctor Dr. Christopher Choi said while COVID-19 cases are rising, they are a lot milder than cases in the beginning of the pandemic.
By: Jaewon Jung
LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — It’s been more than three years since the COVID-19 pandemic began and shut down the Las Vegas strip. On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the virus is no longer a public health emergency.
The WHO first declared Covid a public health emergency in January 2020. According to the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention, more than one million people in the U.S. have died from the virus. In Nevada, that number is more than 12,000.
Dr. Christopher Choi, a M.D. at Concierge Wellness Center in the Southwest Valley, said he still anticipates the virus to be around for the long haul but notices the cases are milder than earlier in the pandemic.
“We still have Covid and that has not changed,” said Dr. Choi. “But what has changed is that unlike when it was declared as an emergency, Covid has changed and the strains are not causing as much death, that is why they declared it as not an emergency anymore.”
Dr. Choi has noticed more people in our valley getting infected with Covid. He said the Omicron subvariant seems to be the dominant strain.
“Recently, even in my own clinic, I’ve been seeing more patients with Covid infections,” said Dr. Choi. “But nobody is really ending up in the hospital and nobody is really dying. It’s very different from when we had the Alpha and Delta variants. Those actually killed a lot of people.”
In terms of what we can expect moving forward, Dr. Choi said Covid will still be around.
“But what I tell my patients is catching Covid is almost like catching a cold,” said Dr. Choi. “We are going to continue see a lot of Covid cases much like the cold and the flu.”
Residents in the Las Vegas valley said they’re looking forward to enjoying a sense of normalcy especially since Las Vegas is now an entertainment and sports capital.
“Our business was severely impacted because most of our locations are in the casinos so we were shut down for that period of time,” said president of Fifth Avenue Restaurant Group Frank Bonanno. “Business is back to normal. We got so many things happening. Formula One coming, Super Bowl coming, we just continue to see growth.”
Many residents said the pandemic has changed their outlook on sanitation and they will continue to exercise caution.
“Even if we are going out in public it’s still good to practice good measurements and boundaries to keep everyone safe,” said Las Vegas resident Chris Hearn.
The Biden Administration will end federal COVID-19 public health emergencies May 11th. Beginning on this day, federal employees are no longer required to be vaccinated against COVID-19.
According to the Department of Homeland Security, non-U.S. travelers will no longer be required to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to enter the U.S.