Updated February 24, 2022 - 4:38 pm
Clark County on Thursday reported 396 new coronavirus cases and 19 deaths as most major long-term metrics continued to decline.
The updates pushed totals posted by the Southern Nevada Health District to 487,127 cases and 7,406 deaths.
State officials are focused on treatments for the ongoing disease, as case rates have dropped drastically and the pandemic moves into a new stage. That led to the opening of a COVID-19 treatment center in Las Vegas. Rashid Chotani, the medical director the center, said Thursday that doctors are still studying COVID’s long-term effects.
“The book on COVID has not yet been written,” he said. “We are still learning and we are still understanding what is going to happen in terms of long-term effects.”
Officials on Thursday stressed the widespread availability of both testing and treatment options, while still emphasizing the need for more Nevadans to get vaccinated and boosted.
The two-week moving average of daily new cases dropped again, from 228 on Wednesday to 202. The two-week moving average of daily fatalities held at five.
Of the county’s other closely watched metrics, the 14-day test positivity rate declined 0.9 percentage point to 10.3 percent, while the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 dropped to 379, from 438 on Wednesday. That came just a day after the Nevada Hospital Association said hospitals around the state were reporting a “return to normalcy” amid lowering numbers.
Hospitalizations and deaths often follow other metrics during a surge, and county health officials have stressed that those numbers are expected to remain higher than the case rate and test positivity rate as the surge recedes.
“This is something that we’re looking at in an endemic stage,” said Julia Peek, deputy administrator for the state Division of Public and Behavioral Health. “We’re looking at: how do we ensure that primary prevention is in place for public health? Because we said from the beginning: COVID is going to be with us, and public health is going to be here.”
Meanwhile, the state reported 857 new COVID-19 cases and 38 deaths, bringing totals posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services to 644,085 cases and 9,613 deaths.
New cases were well above the two-week moving average, which nonetheless declined from 348 on Wednesday to 309. The two-week moving average of daily deaths held steady at seven.
Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada
State and county health agencies often redistribute daily data after it is reported to better reflect the date of death 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 14-day test positivity rate declined by 0.9 percentage point to 11.9 percent, while the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 decreased by 67 to 487.
As of Thursday, state data showed that 56.49 percent of Nevadans five and older were fully vaccinated, compared with 55.87 percent in Clark County.
That number varies widely throughout the state. Carson City has the state’s highest vaccination rate, at 64.75 percent, while Storey County has the lowest, at 24.56 percent.