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Nevada adds over 1K COVID cases, but positivity rate dips again

Updated August 17, 2021 - 3:55 pm

Nevada’s key coronavirus metrics remained at high levels on Tuesday, with 1,002 COVID-19 cases and 33 deaths reported, but the state’s test positivity rate registered its third straight decline.

Updated figures reported by the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the state’s totals to 374,651 COVID-19 cases and 6,223 deaths.

New cases remained higher than the 14-day moving average of 931 per day, which declined from 960 on Monday.

Deaths were three times the moving two-week average of 11 fatalities per day. That number has been rising and has not shown any signs of recent flattening, unlike the state’s other metrics.

Related: Tracking COVID in Nevada

State and county health agencies often redistribute the daily data after it is reported to better reflect the date of death or a test or onset of symptoms, which is why the moving-average trend lines frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

The state’s two-week test positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, dropped slightly to 16.1 percent, according to state data.

The rate had been climbing steadily since hitting a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9, but retreated since hitting a recent high of 16.4 percent on Friday, according to state data.

The state also reported that 1,264 people in Nevada were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, two more than the day prior. The number of hospitalizations in the state has been climbing since mid-June before flattening in the past week or so.

The Nevada Hospital Association said last week that Northern Nevada is now seeing a surge in COVID-19 related hospitalizations, while the southern part of the state, including Clark County, appeared to be nearing the peak of this wave.

As of Tuesday’s report, 49.50 percent of Nevadans 12 and older had been fully vaccinated.

The 14-day moving average of daily administered shots stood at 6,460 on Tuesday, according to state data. The rate has been trending slightly higher since hitting a recent low of 4,833 on July 16.

On Monday night, the Raiders became the first NFL team to announce that all fans who attend a game this season must be vaccinated. The announcement came after Gov. Steve Sisolak announced a new plan to allow large venues to essentially opt-out of the county’s mask mandate by requiring vaccination for all attendees.

While Clark County’s surge has started to slow down following the mask mandate that went into effect on July 30, other Nevada counties have seen metrics increase. Washoe County hit two milestones over the weekend — 700 total deaths and 50,000 total cases.

But a news release Tuesday from Nevada Health Response indicated that Clark County remains at high risk of COVID-19 transmission, meaning the mask mandate will remain in place at least two more weeks.

The announcement also said that the transmission rates in Pershing and Humboldt counties had been rated “high” for two consecutive weeks, meaning the governor’s mask mandate will take effect there beginning Friday. That will mean that residents of 14 of the state’s 17 counties will be required to wear masks in crowded indoor public settings.

Storey County also demonstrated a “high rate of transmission” this week and will face a mask mandate if it remains high next week, it said.

Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District reported 549 new coronavirus cases and 26 additional deaths, according to data posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

Cumulative totals in the county rose to 294,015 cases and 4,988 deaths.

The county’s two-week test positivity rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 16.1 percent.

County numbers are included in the statewide totals.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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