2020 has been an unprecedented year, forcing many across the country to make this their new normal. However, as Nevadans approach November and the Holiday season, they must brace for a third wave of COVID-19 cases in the State. While cases are rising, so are traffic accidents in the Southern Nevada area.
COVID-19 in Nevada
As Nevadans near the end of October, they must brace for a third wave of COVID-19 cases. Nevada reported 1,000 new cases on Saturday and 891 new cases on Sunday.  These numbers come in the wake of the report that the United States reached 85,000 cases on Saturday, the highest peak of infection this year.  This new spike in cases has led to the cancellation of many community events including the annual Nevada Day Parade held on October 31, as well as various Halloween celebrations held across the state. It is important that Nevadans continue being cautious, and while they may be comfortable in their new normal, the pandemic is not over, and is still serious. It is important to know the symptoms of COVID-19, and considering that it is flu season, it is important to be able to differentiate between the two. Here are some tips on spotting COVID and how Nevadans can keep themselves safe:
- While the flu and cold have similar symptoms, the most notable difference between the two is that COVID-19 results in severe rib pain and chest pain. Additionally, it may result in the loss of taste or smell unlike most typical flus.
- Always use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol. While the pandemic has resulted in a plethora of options to consumers, ensure that the hand sanitizer’s main ingredient is alcohol, and does not contain harmful toxins.
- Masks are undoubtedly important. Always ensure that the mask is covering your entire nose and mouth. Remember not to use masks for children under the age of two.
- While it is not necessary, the CDC suggests that people receive the flu vaccine to decrease one’s chance of getting the flu, and decreasing the necessity of treating flu patients for COVID-19. 
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention, but call by telephone in advance if possible and follow the directions of your local health authority. Testing centers have been set up all over Northern and Southern Nevada, and many stores and pharmacies like Target and CVS offer testing.
Traffic and Accidents in Las Vegas
In October, Las Vegas saw an increase in motor vehicle accidents, a result of traffic on Las Vegas and Henderson roads. This increase in traffic could be a result of more people returning to their in-person jobs, as well as the quickly approaching holiday season.
On October 25th, a passenger in a van travelling on Sahara and Hollywood was killed when he hung out the window of the vehicle resulting in a second death to a bicyclist who riding along the roadside . The Las Vegas Police Department is still searching for the vehicle and the driver that fled the scene. Las Vegas Traffic officials issued a statement where they denounced such reckless acts, and encouraged drivers to take driving seriously and be aware of pedestrians and bicyclists they share the road with.
Additionally, earlier last week, a hit and fatal crash occurred on I-15.  The incident occurred at 6:45 p.m and resulted in the death of a passenger in one of the cars. The Las Vegas Police Department noted that traffic is heavy in the area between six o’clock and seven, and warn drivers to be patient and cautious. To prevent accidents, especially on the freeway, it is important for Southern Nevadans to be as courteous and patient as possible, refrain from changing lanes too often and to avoid road rage at all costs.
This week, Southern Nevadans are warned of increased traffic due to a Trump Rally on Wednesday, as well as a Kamala Harris event on Tuesday. These events can result in street closures around the event, and may cause increased traffic delays in those areas. It is also noted that there will be increased security, as well as closures near McCarran International Airport. 
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, it is important that Nevadans take safety precautions and educate themselves so they can identify symptoms and decrease the spread of the virus. While it is important to play our part in deceasing the spread of COVID-19, it is also important that we show respect while on the roads. While traffic patterns may change during this holiday season, it is important to stay cautious, patient and adapt in an effort to decrease car accidents while making Nevada safer.