Updated July 8, 2020 - 7:01 pm
Both Clark County and the state of Nevada on Tuesday reported below-average numbers of new COVID-19 cases and deaths on Wednesday as the state infection rate turned downward after 20 straight daily increases.
Clark County recorded 472 new cases of COVID-19 and four additional deaths over the preceding day, according to data published by the Southern Nevada Health District.
The new cases posted on the health district’s coronavirus website brought total cases in the county to 20,126, while the fatalities raised the death toll to 454. The district estimates that 12,644 of those sickened by the disease caused by the new coronavirus have recovered.
New cases were below the daily average of 615 over the preceding week, and the fatalities were slightly below the daily average of nearly five over the period.
The health district also reported 36 new hospitalizations, well above the daily average of just under 20 over the preceding week.
On Monday, the Nevada Hospital Association reported that the state recorded the largest single-day increase in confirmed and suspected COVID-19 hospitalizations. An update posted Tuesday said that the “persistent resurgence of COVID-19 hospitalizations … has necessitated various individual facilities to make operational adjustments to some services.” It did not specify what those changes were.
Data included in the update showed an increase in the number of occupied beds in intensive care units in Southern Nevada, reaching 89 percent of capacity compared with 78 percent of all available beds. The use of ventilators also was rising with 42 percent of available units now in use.
Meanwhile, the state Department of Health and Human Services reported 516 new COVID-19 cases and five additional deaths for Nevada.
New cases posted on the agency’s nvhealthresponse.nv.gov were well below the daily average of nearly 679 for the preceding week, and the fatalities were just below the daily average of just under six for the period.
The new cases pushed the state case total to 24,301, and the fatalities increased the death toll to 553. Reports from local health districts and other county agencies place the total somewhat higher, at 24,385 as of late Wednesday.
The state also reported a slight decline in the infection or positivity rate, ending a run of 20 straight daily increases. The rate, obtained by dividing the number of confirmed cases by the number of people tested, is considered a better indicator of the direction of the outbreak in Nevada than new cases or deaths, which can fluctuate widely because of reporting lags and other issues.
The rate declined by one-hundredth of 1 percent, from 7.55 percent to 7.54 percent, but the dip was the first reported since it bottomed out at 5.20 percent on June 17.
Both the health district and the state redistribute cases and deaths data after they are announced to better reflect when a victim got sick or died, as opposed to the date the case was reported to the district. As a result, the figures announced daily often don’t match the reconfigured data in the district’s detailed breakdowns.
Public health officials say the majority of patients who contract COVID-19 suffer mild, moderate or no symptoms and recover within two weeks of the onset of symptoms. But data show that the elderly, particularly those with underlying health conditions, are much more susceptible, as patients 60 and older make up nearly 83 percent of all deaths in the state, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.