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Nevada adds record 497 new COVID-19 cases, as Clark County adds 397

Updated June 25, 2020 - 8:42 pm

Nevada added a one-day record 497 new cases of COVID-19 and one new death over the preceding day, as Clark County recorded just under 400 new cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to data posted Thursday.

Data posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services on its nvhealthresponse.nv.gov webpage surpassed the previous one-day record of 462 new cases reported Tuesday. It marked the fourth time in the last week the state topped 400 new cases in a day.

New cases were above the daily average of the preceding week of 360 and pushed the total reported by the state to 14,859. Reports from local health districts and other agencies place the total somewhat higher, at 14,923 as of late Thursday.

The lone fatality was below the daily average of three over the period and increased the state death toll to 495.

The state infection rate, considered a better barometer of the trend of the outbreak in the state, rose for the eighth straight day, reaching 5.83 percent. The rate, the number of confirmed cases divided by the number of people tested, declined steadily for more than two months as the availability of COVID-19 testing became more widely available before reaching a low of 5.20 percent on June 17 and then beginning to rise.

Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District reported 397 new cases on its coronavirus web page and one additional death, pushing total cases for the county to 11,878. New cases were above the daily average of 309 over the preceding week. The district estimates that 8,316 of those patients have recovered.

The additional fatality increased the county death toll to 405 and was below the daily average of just over 2½ for the preceding week.

The district also reported 27 new hospitalizations over the preceding day from the disease caused by the new coronavirus. That was higher than the daily average of 18 for the preceding week.

“Nevada is seeing an increase in both suspected and confirmed cases of COVID-19 hospitalizations, driven predominantly by disease activity in the southern part of the state,” the Nevada Hospital Association reported Wednesday, while noting that the health care system has additional capacity to treat additional patients. As of Tuesday, it said, overall hospital bed occupancy stood at 77 percent, with 81 percent of intensive care unit beds filled and use of available ventilators at 32 percent.

Public health experts are still struggling to understand what is driving the rebound in cases in the state, with most saying that some combination of lax observance of safety guidelines at reopened “nonessential businesses,” attendance at large gatherings, including protests, and the increasingly widespread availability of COVID-19 testing all contributing to varying degrees.

But a state official dropped a few hints on what local contact tracing efforts are showing at Gov. Steve Sisolak’s news conference Wednesday announcing a directive requiring people to wear face masks in nearly all public spaces.

Julia Peek, deputy administrator with the Division of Public and Behavioral Health, said that data pulled from June 4 to June 16 showed that 11 percent of confirmed cases had been to a mass gathering and that 12 percent had attended a “civic activist event,” likely one of a series of Black Lives Matter protests following the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

In another development Thursday:

■ Six more residents and four employees at the Southern Nevada State Veterans Home in Boulder City have tested positive for COVID-19 in the past week, the state Department of Veterans Services announced. The facility has now reported 23 confirmed coronavirus cases in 11 residents and 12 staff members, according to the state’s database. One resident, an 86-year-old Korean War veteran, died from the disease March 28.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

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

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