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New COVID-19 cases, test positivity rate improve in Clark County

Clark County on Wednesday reported 479 new cases of COVID-19 and 16 deaths as the key metrics of new cases and positivity rate both showed improvement.

Updated figures posted by the Southern Nevada Health District increased county totals to 342,098 cases of the disease caused by the new coronavirus and 6,161 deaths.

New cases were far above the two-week moving average of 312 per day, while the average dipped by four from the preceding day.

Fatalities were more than triple the average of five per day over the period, while the average climbed by one from Tuesday’s update.

The county’s test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, stood at 6.9 percent, a 0.1 percentage point improvement from Tuesday, state data showed.

There were 575 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patents occupying beds in county hospitals as of Wednesday, 22 more than the previous day.

All four key COVID-19 metrics for the county have risen significantly since the beginning of November, though the increase has slowed over the past week and even improved slightly in new case and test positivity rates, both of which are considered leading indicators of the disease.

While concerns remain that a winter surge of the disease could materialize, local and state public health officials have not declared that the county is seeing a so-called “fifth wave” of the disease.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

A planned news briefing by state officials on Wednesday to discuss the status of the outbreak in the state was canceled.

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 for new cases, deaths and positivity rate frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

The state Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, reported 629 new COVID-19 cases and 19 deaths in Nevada during the preceding day.

Updated figures posted on the state’s coronavirus website pushed totals to 454,980 cases and 7,972 deaths.

The state’s positivity rate declined by 0.1 percentage point for the second day in a row to reach 7.5 percent.

Statewide 719 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients were hospitalized as of Wednesday’s report, up by 18 from the previous day.

The state’s vaccination rate climbed by 0.5 percentage points in a single day, as the agency reported that 52.12 percent of eligible Nevadans 5 and older have received doses. That compares to a rate of 51.36 percent in Clark County.

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

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