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Where you might still need masks in Nevada

FILE: Even with the lifting of Nevada's mask mandate, there are still some places where masks could be required. (KSNV)
FILE: Even with the lifting of Nevada's mask mandate, there are still some places where masks could be required. (KSNV)
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The mask mandate is now officially lifted in Nevada, though there are still a number of reasons Southern Nevadans may continue to need to mask up.

Medical professionals have considered masking an effective tool for preventing the spread of COVID-19, but with the rollout of vaccines and better treatments combating the virus, pandemic strategies are shifting.

Following Gov. Steve Sisolak’s announcement Thursday lifting the mask mandate effective immediately, the bare faces of Southern Nevadans began to move throughout the valley.

There are still a number of reasons one should expect to see others in masks, however.

That person could be - or have loved ones who are - immunocompromised or unable to get vaccinated.

Local businesses also have the choice to set their own mask policies when you walk in their doors.

Public and commercial transportation, like planes and buses, and Harry Reid International Airport still require masks in accordance with federal regulations.

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Some medical settings could also continue to require masks. A UMC spokesperson said the hospital will not require masks in non-clinical areas like offices or lobbies, but they will be required in all patient care areas.

Some also might not be quite ready to drop the mask, which raises the question: Is there a benefit to wearing a mask when no one else around you is? Doctors say: yes.

"Even if most of the people in the venue are not wearing a mask, you still get protection by wearing yours. And if you’re not fully vaccinated, in particular, you should be wearing your mask,” said Dr. David Weismiller, professor of family medicine at the Kirk Kerkorian School Medicine at UNLV.

“The odds are significantly less that, even if you are in a crowded area where most people are not vaccinated, if you are wearing a mask, particularly an effective mask – meaning an N95 – you do benefit in terms of protection," he said.

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Dr. Weismiller also advises locals to continue to be safe and respectful of others' choices when it comes to masks. He also reminded that if another variant surges, mandates will probably tighten right back up.

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