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County adds nearly 8K COVID-19 cases over 2 days; total tops 400K

Updated January 10, 2022 - 4:52 pm

Clark County on Monday added nearly 8,000 new COVID-19 cases from the preceding two days as the omicron variant continued to rampage, pushing the county’s case total past 400,000.

Updated figures from the Southern Nevada Health District showed 7,899 new cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus on the weekend, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the county to 400,870.

Daily numbers were down from the record 6,110 new COVID-19 cases recorded on Friday, which smashed the previous pandemic high of 3,508 reported the day before. But state officials have said that reports on Monday are typically suppressed by weekend reporting lags in local jurisdictions.

Even so, Monday’s case totals were well above the two-week moving average of 3,091 cases per day, while the average leaped by a whopping 747 cases per day from Friday’s update.

Total deaths remained unchanged at 6,544. The county has not reported any deaths on weekends since mid-November due to the lag in weekend reporting.

The county’s COVID-19 test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of those tested who are found to be infected, continued its sharp recent climb, rising 3 percentage points from Thursday to 28.8 percent, according to state data.

Hospitalizations up by 162

Hospitalizations in the county also continued upward with 1,356 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients reported Monday, up from 1,194 on Thursday. Employee shortages exacerbated by more hospital workers being sickened by the illness prompted the Nevada Hospital Association last week to declare a staffing crisis in Southern Nevada and some rural areas.

The state, meanwhile, reported more than 16,039 new COVID-19 cases and 18 deaths over the preceding three days. Its totals now stand at 525,511 cases and 8,528 deaths.

Public health officials say the more-contagious omicron variant of the coronavirus is responsible the skyrocketing number of new cases, the rise in the test positivity rate and the surge in hospitalizations in the county and the state. As of Monday, the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory had identified 312 COVID-19 cases caused by omicron, a figure that vastly understates the true number because relatively few test samples are genetically sequenced to identify the strain of the virus.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

Separately, the health district also updated its reporting on so-called breakthrough cases in a report published late Friday.

The report showed a record 7,528 new breakthrough cases over the past week in which people who were fully vaccinated nonetheless were infected by the new coronavirus. It also showed 28 new breakthrough hospitalizations over the period and 12 additional deaths.

Breakthrough totals for the county stood at 27,205 cases, 873 hospitalizations and 261 deaths.

What breakthrough data shows

The health district data shows that patients 65 and older continue to be most at risk of serious complications from breakthrough cases — accounting for 86 percent of total deaths, for example — particularly if they have underlying health conditions.

But younger Nevadans are growing as a percentage of total COVID-19 cases. Residents between the ages of 18 and 49 now account for 56 percent of the county’s breakthrough cases compared to 49 percent as of Dec. 2.

The data also indicates that vaccinated men are more likely to experience serious complications if they do become sick. While males account for 43 percent of all breakthrough COVID-19 cases, they make up 57 percent of hospitalizations and 65 percent of the deaths.

The data also supports the consistent message from public health officials that vaccination does a good job of staving off the most serious complications of the disease.

The death rate for fully vaccinated individuals stood at 22 per 100,000 population in the most recent report vs. 562 per 100,000 for the unvaccinated.

Other state COVID-19 metrics reported Monday by the Department of Health and Human Services:

Hospitalizations: 1,517 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients, up from 1,326 in Friday’s report.

Test positivity rate: 26.3 percent, up from 23.5 percent on Friday.

Testing: 42,585 tests administered from Friday through Sunday, approaching levels last seen during last winter’s surge.

Vaccination: 54.96 percent of eligible Nevadans 5 and older have now been full vaccinated, compared to 54.29 percent in Clark County.

Contact Mike Brunker at mbrunker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter.

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