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Nevada reports 6K new COVID-19 cases as omicron surge continues

Updated January 14, 2022 - 8:00 pm

Concluding a week of exploding caseloads, Nevada reported 6,096 new cases of COVID-19 on Friday.

The state’s finished the week with 549,198 cases, 8,627 deaths and 1,711 people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19. That includes 21 deaths and 88 new hospitalizations reported at the state level Friday.

On Thursday, the state reported a record 6,845 new COVID-19 cases.

COVID-19 hospitalizations are just 146 cases short of their peak set Dec. 15, 2020, when 1,857 people across the state were hospitalized with the disease caused by the coronavirus.

Omicron, the highly transmissible variant making its way through the world, accounts for 89 percent of state cases as of Friday, according to state data.

Testing troubles

The surge in cases has driven up demand for COVID-19 tests locally and around the country. Officials have struggled to keep up with the demand, especially as staffing issues continue to plague the health care system at all levels.

Gov. Steve Sisolak announced Thursday Nevada would distribute 588,216 at-home test kits through about 90 community groups around the state. At-home test kit results are not reported by the state or county, so the data is difficult to track.

A new drive-thru COVID-19 testing site opened this week at Texas Station in North Las Vegas, while another is scheduled to open Saturday at Fiesta Henderson. Also, health officials closed the testing site at UNLV’s Paradise Campus and moved it to Sam Boyd Stadium, hoping the larger area would allow for easier access and shorter wait times.

Daily testing hit a record peak on Sunday, when Clark County recorded a 14-day moving average of 13,913 tests.

Experts suspect that the state’s current test positivity rate, reported Friday as 32.8 percent, may be higher. Cassius Lockett, director of disease surveillance and control for the Southern Nevada Health District, cited the long wait times at testing centers as one of many reasons people aren’t getting tested when they might have the virus.

Clark County data

The Southern Nevada Health District, meanwhile, reported 4,362 new cases Friday morning, bringing the county total to 419,141.

It was the eighth straight day that Clark County reported more than 3,000 new cases. And, for the second week in a row, people in their 20s made up the majority of new cases, according to state data.

The county also reported 54 new hospitalizations of people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 and 17 additional deaths.

State data showed 1,513 people were hospitalized in Clark County as of Friday morning and 6,625 people had died from the virus.

The county’s moving average of 14-day daily new cases climbed by 235 to 3,316 on Friday. The moving daily death average increased from four to five.

Both the state and the county’s daily positivity rate over a 14-day period increased by 1 percentage point, moving the county’s rate to 35.9 percent and the state to 32.8 percent.

Friday’s data showed just over 55 percent of Nevada residents over the age of 5 are fully vaccinated.

Clark County reported 54.5 percent of residents over 5 years old were fully vaccinated as of Friday, including 20,000 between 5 and 11 years old.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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