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Major COVID-19 metrics in Nevada head lower

Updated January 19, 2021 - 3:22 pm

Nevada on Tuesday reported 1,178 new coronavirus cases statewide and eight additional deaths over the preceding day, according to state data.

Updated figures posted on the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website brought totals in the state to 263,972 cases and 3,792 deaths.

New cases and deaths were both below the 14-day moving averages. The 14-day average of new daily cases fell to 1,630 on Tuesday, while the two-week average of daily reported deaths was 18, a decrease of two from the previous day.

According to state data, the two-week daily average of deaths has been declining steadily since it reached a high of 36 on Dec. 30. The state redistributes data after daily total announcements to better reflect the date of death, which at times causes the trendlines to diverge from daily reports.

Although the two-week death average has been decreasing, UNLV epidemiologist Brian Labus said Monday that the latest death trends more accurately reflect the state of the pandemic weeks ago.

“I wouldn’t say that the deaths are showing us anything,” said Labus, who is a member of the medical team advising Gov. Steve Sisolak. “That’s why I generally don’t follow them, because they don’t tell you really what’s going on. It tells you what happened a month ago or so.”

He said that although individual statistics have decreased in recent days, that is to be expected.

“We’re going to see fluctuations from day to day,” he said. “And for this data to really make any sense, you kind of have to take a step back and look at the longer term trends. One or two good days really don’t mean anything.”

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested who are diagnosed with the disease, fell to 20.8 percent on Tuesday, a 0.3 percentage-point decrease from the day prior and its fourth straight daily decrease.

There were 1,716 people in Nevada hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday, an increase of 62 hospitalizations from the previous day, according to state data.

Throughout Nevada, 73 percent of all adult intensive care beds are occupied, and 38 percent of all ICU patients are hospitalized for COVID-19, according to data from the Nevada Hospital Association.

But Southern Nevada continues to experience higher percentages of hospitalizations than the rest of the state. Adult intensive care beds are 80 percent full in the region, and 45 percent of all ICU patients in Southern Nevada are hospitalized for the coronavirus.

Clark County on Tuesday reported 952 new cases and seven additional deaths, according to data posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website. The updated figures brought totals in the county to 202,471 cases and 2,873 deaths, which are included in the state’s totals.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Blake Apgar contributed to this report.

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