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New COVID-19 cases decline sharply in Clark County

Updated September 28, 2021 - 3:48 pm

Clark County on Tuesday saw significant decreases in several major COVID-19 metrics, reporting 416 new coronavirus cases and 15 deaths during the preceding day.

That pushed totals for the county to 319,081 cases and 5,594 deaths, according to data posted by the Southern Nevada Health District.

The number of new cases in the county was the lowest one-day total since July 5, when 399 were reported, according to state data. The total remained above the two-week moving average of 383 per day, which was itself down sharply from 406 on Monday.

Deaths were more than double the two-week moving average, which held at six per day.

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the county was unchanged at 623.

The 14-day test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, dropped 0.2 percentage point to 8.0 percent.

The improving metrics mean the county is making progress toward exiting the state mask mandate for crowded indoor areas, though it still has a ways to go.

The 14-day average positivity rate translates to 8.75 percent using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s preferred seven-day average, which puts the county in the “substantial” transmission category in the federal agency’s risk classification system.

But it needs to drop farther still for the county to exit Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate. To do that a county must record back-to-back weeks with a positivity rate of 8.0 percent or lower and fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents. The latter number stood at 142.85 cases per 100,000 on Sunday, the last time the figure was updated on the CDC website.

That was nonetheless a big decline from the 189.92 per 100,000 reported at the beginning of last week.

All 17 Nevada counties currently are rated in the CDC’s “high” transmission tier, state officials confirmed Tuesday, the second straight week that’s been the case. That means all are at least two weeks away from exiting the mask mandate.

The state, meanwhile, reported 902 new COVID-19 cases and 28 deaths over the preceding day. It was just the second time since early August that the state has reported fewer than 1,000 cases in a day.

That brought state totals to 419,379 cases and 7,073 deaths, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.

Following Clark County’s lead, the state’s 14-day moving average of new cases also declined, to 729 per day from 793 on Monday. The average for fatalities, however, rose from 11 to 12 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.

The state’s two-week test positivity rate dropped 0.1 percentage points to 10.5 percent.

The rate has retreated from its recent high of 16.4 percent on Aug. 13, according to state data.

The state also reported that 897 people in Nevada were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, two fewer than on Monday. That figure has been dropping slowly since late August.

As of Tuesday’s report, 55.41 percent of Nevadans 12 and older had been fully vaccinated. The rate was 54.79 percent in Clark County, state data show.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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