Nevada on Tuesday crossed another somber pandemic milestone as the COVID-19 death toll in the state surpassed 8,000.
Updated data from the Department of Health and Human Services added 840 new statewide cases of the disease and 32 fatalities, bringing cumulative totals posted by the Department of Health and Human Services to 457,643 cases and 8,017 deaths.
The state reported a significant number of deaths after reporting just 13 over a five-day period on Monday, likely due to data redistribution because of reporting delays on the Thanksgiving holiday and the weekend.
New cases for the Silver State were more than double the two-week moving average, which nonetheless dropped to 398 from 426 on Monday. The two-week moving average of daily fatalities, meanwhile, increased from four to five.
The state’s test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, held steady at 7.2 percent, while the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of the disease dropped by 22 to 651.
Clark County, meanwhile, recorded 529 new coronavirus cases and 21 deaths after recording no deaths on Monday. That brought county totals posted by the Southern Nevada Health District to 343,928 cases and 6,190 deaths.
The county’s 14-day test positivity rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent. That translated to 7.85 percent using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s preferred seven-day average, putting the county in the “substantial” risk of transmission category for that metric.
The county’s case rate per 100,000 people stood at 94.81 as of Tuesday afternoon, also in the “substantial” tier.
For a county to exit the state mask mandate for crowded indoor public spaces, it must record back-to-back weeks with a seven-day average case rate of under 50 per 100,000 residents and a test positivity under 8 percent — both considered as posing a “moderate” or “low” risk of transmission by the CDC.
State officials on Tuesday updated Nevada’s mask guidelines, keeping Esmeralda County as the only county not currently required to mask up in crowded public spaces after recording two straight weeks of “low” transmission.
White Pine County was in the “low” tier this week, while Storey County was in the “moderate” tier. If those counties maintain levels for the next week, the mask mandate also would be lifted there.
All other counties except for Clark were in the “high” transmission tier.
Meanwhile, Clark County’s 14-day moving average of new cases decreased to 283 per day from 302 on Monday. The two-week average for fatalities increased by one to three per day.
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.
Of the other closely watched metrics, Clark County’s two-week test positivity rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent, while the number of people in the county hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases dropped to 538, 11 fewer than on Monday.
As of Tuesday evening, the state had not updated its vaccination data.