weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Nevada sets another record for new coronavirus cases

Updated November 19, 2020 - 11:51 am

Nevada reported another record number of new coronavirus cases on Thursday, eclipsing 2,000 cases in a single day for the second time in a week.

The Department of Health and Human Services reported 2,416 new COVID-19 cases on Thursday along with six additional deaths. The updated figures posted to the state’s coronavirus website brought totals in Nevada to 127,875 cases and 1,953 deaths since the pandemic began.

Officials on Thursday also urged Nevadans to consider the pandemic when making holiday plans.

The state has seen a recent drastic increase in case totals, with Gov. Steve Sisolak last week imploring Nevadans to stay home for 14 days to curb the outbreak.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

Case increases have not substantially decreased since Sisolak’s plea on Nov. 10, and on Saturday, Nevada reported more than 2,000 new cases for the first time, which was then an all-time high daily increase of 2,269 cases.

Clark County on Thursday reported 1,622 new cases, which surpassed 100,000 cumulative coronavirus cases for the first time since the start of the pandemic. There also were seven additional deaths reported Thursday in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

Cumulative death totals can vary from state and county health departments because both agencies redistribute cases after daily reports. Some cases can be removed from county totals after further investigation.

In a statement released Thursday, the county health district said the more than 100,000 cumulative cases was a “sobering milestone.”

“As we report these numbers, I want to remind everyone they represent someone’s family member or friend who has been impacted by the virus, and I would ask them to keep this in mind as they plan their holiday celebrations,” Dr. Fermin Leguen, acting chief health officer for the county health district, said in the statement.

“The best gift you can give your family and friends this season is ensuring they remain safe and healthy and are not put at risk of getting or spreading COVID-19,” he added.

In a joint statement released Thursday, the Nevada Hospital Association, Nevada Rural Hospital Partners and Nevada State Medical Association urged people to commit to safety measures during the holiday to avoid overwhelming hospitals, which are already experiencing a record high number of COVID-19 patients.

The statement also urged Nevadans to resist “COVID fatigue” because the “infection isn’t going away any time soon.”

“Everyone has a duty to act responsibly to limit the spread of infection so we do not overwhelm our health care system,” the statement said.

The state’s cumulative positivity rate, calculated by the Las Vegas Review-Journal as the number of cases divided by the number of people tested since the start of the pandemic, reached 14.16 percent on Thursday, a 0.15 percentage point increase from the previous day.

Both the new case reports and the positivity rate began increasing in mid-September. When compared with last month, November has seen an increase in weekly totals of deaths reported, a disease measure that tends to lag a month or more behind case increases.

The state health department calculates a positivity rate over a two-week period, and the rate remained at 15.6 percent on Thursday. The rate is calculated using “testing encounters,” which is a larger number than total people tested, as many have been tested multiple times throughout the pandemic.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal editor Peter Johnson contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Sisolak outlines Nevada recovery in biennial speech

Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday laid out five economic development and recovery initiatives for a post-pandemic Nevada.