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More Nevadans now hospitalized for COVID-19 than any stage of pandemic

Updated November 18, 2020 - 4:47 pm

Nevada on Wednesday reported 1,665 additional coronavirus cases, as the Nevada Hospital Association said the state has reached the highest number of hospitalized patients since the start of the pandemic.

There also were three additional deaths reported, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. The updated figures posted to the state’s coronavirus website brought totals in Nevada to 125,459 cases and 1,947 deaths since the pandemic began.

The state has seen a recent drastic increase in case totals, with Gov. Steve Sisolak last week imploring Nevadans to stay home for 14 days in an effort to curb the outbreak.

Case increases have not substantially decreased since Sisolak’s plea on Nov. 10, and on Saturday, Nevada reported more than 2,000 new cases for the first time — an all-time high daily increase since the start of the pandemic.

The Nevada Hospital Association on Wednesday warned that “current strategies are not successfully minimizing the spread of serious disease,” according to the association’s daily COVID-19 update.

“Nevada continues to see exponential growth in COVID-19 hospitalizations driven almost exclusively by Washoe and Clark counties, which currently account for 97 percent of all hospitalizations,” the association said.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

As of Wednesday, there are 1,246 people hospitalized in the state with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, which is the “highest numbers experienced within Nevada to date,” the association said. Most hospitals are adapting to the influx of patients, but some “individual facilities are experiencing significant occupancy rates.”

Throughout Nevada, about 23 percent of all hospital patients have a suspected or confirmed COVID-19 case, while 25 percent of patients in intensive care are hospitalized for the virus, according to data from the hospital association.

Meanwhile, 81 percent of Nevada’s licensed hospital beds were occupied as of Wednesday, along with 62 percent of adult intensive care beds, according to the hospital association.

The state’s cumulative positivity rate, calculated by the Review-Journal as the number of cases divided by the total people tested, reached 14.01 percent on Wednesday, according to state health department data. That’s an increase of 0.14 percentage points from the previous day.

Both the new case reports and the positivity rate began increasing in mid-September. When compared to last month, November has seen an increase in weekly totals of deaths reported, a disease measure that tends to lag a month or more behind case increases.

The state health department calculates a positivity rate over a two-week period, which remained at 15.6 percent on Wednesday. The rate is calculated using “testing encounters,” which is a larger number than total people tested, as many have been tested at different times throughout the pandemic.

In Clark County, there were 1,322 additional coronavirus cases reported on Wednesday, but no additional deaths, state data showed. The updated figures brought totals in the county to 98,930 cases.

Figures from the Southern Nevada Health District showed that the cumulative number of deaths in Clark County decreased by one to 1,640 on Wednesday. This is because a previous case was re-classified, according to a health district spokeswoman.

Both county and state health districts redistribute data on new cases and total fatalities after their daily reports in an attempt to show when someone died or started showing symptoms, as some cases come from delayed reporting.

The Washoe County Health District reported a record 610 new cases, bringing its total to 19,742. Deaths remained at 222.

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

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