Public health officials and state and city leaders in Hawaii, Los Angeles, Chicago and elsewhere are urging their residents not to travel to Las Vegas right now amid a growing surge in the Delta variant and little or no mask mandates at Vegas casinos and restaurants.

"You’re taking a huge risk, and you will very likely catch COVID if you go to Las Vegas," says Hawaii's Lt. Gov. Josh Green, who is also a physician, in a new statement on Twitter to Hawaii's residents. "You’re in restaurants or in a casino where most people are not wearing masks. That’s what’s going to happen. You will definitely catch COVID. Then you’ll come back, you’ll be asymptomatic for a few days, you’ll test positive for COVID, and you’ll give it to your whole family."

Las Vegas television station KLAS reports that the leaders of Clark County, Nevada, which is home to Las Vegas, voted last week to make masks mandatory for all employees, but mask-wearing for others in restaurants, hotels, and casinos remains just a recommendation from the health department, as it is in the Bay Area.

Still, Vegas is a magnate for people from all over the country and the world, coming from places where vaccination rates may be low, and were people may still be ignoring the increased danger of being infected with the Delta variant.

Last week, as KLAS reports, the city of Chicago added the entire state of Nevada to its list of places not to travel to right now, due to pandemic concerns, and health officials in Los Angeles also expressed public concerns about travel to Vegas by Californians.

The White House COVID-19 Team last week identified Clark County, Nevada as a "sustained hotspot" for coronavirus infection, a label which it has held since July 5.

Clark County’s seven-day average number of new cases per day rose 74 percent from two weeks prior, as of July 23.

Here in the Bay Area, Contra Costa County Health Officer Dr. Chris Farnitano told NBC Bay Area that local residents should reconsider any upcoming plans they have to go to Las Vegas. "It’s really important to remember that as far as COVID goes, what happens in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas," he said.

Photo: Nick Fewings