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COVID-19 hospitalizations rise statewide

Updated November 23, 2022 - 2:38 pm

COVID-19 hospitalizations increased this week in Clark County and statewide while remaining relatively low, according to new data released Wednesday.

After dipping last week, confirmed and suspected hospitalizations in Clark County increased to 240 from last week’s 202, an increase of 19 percent, Hospitalizations across Nevada increased to 285 from last week’s 254, an increase of 12 percent, according to data from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

At the peak of the winter surge in January, there were as many as 2,000 daily COVID-19 hospitalizations statewide.

The Nevada Hospital Association said that 14 percent of visits to emergency rooms in the past week were related to COVID-19 symptoms — an increase of 1 percentage point over the previous week. Hospital occupancy rates remain stable at 71 percent, with intensive care unit occupancy at 74 percent.

But pediatric hospital units remain stressed. Occupancy rates have stabilized but remain high, the association said. Units are at 100 percent capacity or higher in part because of high volumes of respiratory infections, including respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Pediatric wards are being filled with children under 6 years old. “Some of these patients have COVID or other respiratory complaints that require isolation, compounding the shortages of available pediatric beds,” the association said.

Staffing is at “alert” levels across the state because of an increased demand for pediatric nurses.

In Northern Nevada, the strain on pediatric units is especially acute, as one area hospital has stopped providing pediatric services.

The rate of COVID-19-associated hospitalizations for infants under 6 months is the highest for any pediatric age group, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate had been declining from July through September before increasing in October.

Flu-related hospitalizations are continuing to rise across Nevada, increasing to 92 from last week’s 40.

Meanwhile, the 14-day average for confirmed daily new COVID-19 cases in the county declined to 159 from last week’s 177, a decrease of 10 percent, according to state data. Statewide, cases dropped to 219 from the prior week’s 231, a decrease of 5 percent.

Every county in Nevada but one has low levels of COVID-19, a metric based on case numbers and hospitalizations, according to the CDC. White Pine County in rural Nevada has high levels. Nationwide, 2.8 percent of counties have high levels, 16.7 percent have medium and 80.4 percent have low levels.

Deaths associated with COVID-19 remain low. The 14-day average for daily new deaths in Clark County and statewide is one, according to state data.

Deaths from COVID-19 in the U.S. have substantially decreased in recent months, according to the CDC. This is likely because of high levels of immunity in the population through vaccination or prior infection, as well as improvements in early treatment for patients at higher risk, the federal agency said.

The virus poses the highest risk of death for older adults, especially those over the age of 85, as well as for those with underlying medical conditions, people with disabilities and those not up-to-date on vaccination, according to the federal agency.

Contact Mary Hynes at mhynes@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0336. Follow @MaryHynes1 on Twitter.

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