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Clark County sees 73 new COVID-19 cases, 8 deaths as testing surges

Updated May 19, 2020 - 4:29 pm

Clark County recorded 73 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths as the state reported a one-day record of tests for the disease caused by the new coronavirus, according to data posted Tuesday.

The new figures reported by the Southern Nevada Health District on its coronavirus webpage pushed the total cases in the county to 5,536 and the death toll to 304.

The district estimates that 4,178 diagnosed patients have recovered.

New cases were slightly below the average of 73 per day over the preceding week, while the number of deaths was above the average of just over five for the period.

Eighteen additional hospitalizations also were reported in the day preceding the report. That was above the daily average of 11 hospitalizations in the preceding week, but the hospitalization rate in the county — the number of people hospitalized divided by the number diagnosed with COVID-19 still registered an 11th straight decline. That figure, excluding deaths, stood at 21.37 percent.

Public health experts say the hospitalization rate is a more accurate indicator of the trend of the outbreak in Clark County than new cases, because the raw number of cases is expected to climb as testing increases.

Earlier, Nevada recorded 140 new COVID-19 cases and one new death overnight, a surge fueled by a record number of tests for the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The new cases bumped the total reported in the state to 7,046 and raised the death toll to 373. Reports from local health districts and other county agencies place total cases higher, at 7,163. Such discrepancies between local and state reporting are common because of different reporting cycles.

Diagnosed patients were derived from tests on 87,555 people, resulting in an infection rate of 8.0 percent. Public health officials consider that rate, which has been declining for weeks, as a better indicator on the trend of the outbreak in the state than new cases, which fluctuate from day to day and tend to climb on days when more tests are conducted.

That was the case on Monday, as labs in the state conducted a record 6,609 tests, eclipsing the previous one-day record of 6,500 tests reported Sunday on the state Department of Health and Human Services’ nvhealthresponse.nv.gov website. That pushed the number of tests conducted in the state beyond the 100,000 threshold — to 103,703.

In another development Tuesday, public health officials in Washoe County reported 28 new COVID-19 cases and no new deaths. The new cases pushed the total in Nevada’s second-most-populous county to 1,295, of whom 689 have recovered, according to the Regional Information Center. Hospitals in the county remain well short of capacity, the center said in a news release.

Interactive: Data on coronavirus impact on Nevada

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

A previous version of this story misstated the number of hospitalizations in Clark County in the preceding 24 hours.

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

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