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Key Nevada COVID-19 metrics end week slightly improved

Updated May 7, 2021 - 4:20 pm

Nevada on Friday reported 498 new coronavirus cases and eight additional deaths over the preceding day, capping a week that saw small declines in average daily cases, fatalities and the positivity rate.

Updated figures from the Department of Health and Human Services posted online brought totals in the state to 317,980 cases and 5,498 deaths.

New cases were more than double the 14-day moving average of daily reported cases, which dropped slightly to 244. Fatalities were also well above the daily average of three deaths over the period.

A week earlier, two-week moving average of daily cases stood at 290, while the average number of deaths per day was four.

State and county health agencies often redistribute the 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 two-week moving average of new cases climbed through the first part of April before it began trending downward during the third week of the month, state data shows. The metric has fallen from 308 on April 22, to 244 on Friday, including a drop of 46 per day over the past week alone.

The two week average for deaths has followed a similar pattern, according to the state data. After holding steady at five through early April, it dropped to four on April 14. After briefly returning to five at month’s end, it has again edged lower to end the day at three on Friday.

The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, remained unchanged at 5.6 percent.

The positivity rate, a leading indicator of the disease, began to drop after peaking at 21.3 percent on Jan. 13 and continued to fall through the end of March. But after reaching a recent low of 4.2 percent on March 28, it began to climb again and reached 5.9 percent on April 18 — just as the averages of new cases and deaths were beginning to rise. Since then it has retreated slightly. On Thursday it decreased for the first time in more than a week.

As of Friday’s report, 331 people in Nevada were hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, seven more than the previous day, according to the state data.

Although hospitalization totals can vary day to day, the metric trended lower from January through March, reaching a low of 265 on March 29, state data shows. Since then, it has largely remained flat.

“Nevada continues to experience daily fluctuations in hospitalizations as the state reopens,” the Nevada Hospital Association said in its weekly update. “Patient acuity is in decline. Severe illness is becoming reduced.”

Clark County, meanwhile, reported 413 new COVID-19 cases and seven additional deaths over the preceding day, according to data posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

Cumulative totals for the county rose to 246,106 cases and 4,330 deaths.

The county’s two-week positivity rate increased by 0.1 percentage points on Friday, reaching 5.7 percent and surpassing the state’s rate.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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