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Nevada adds 1,179 COVID cases, 20 deaths as positivity rate hits 14%

Updated July 28, 2021 - 5:16 pm

Nevada on Wednesday reported 1,179 new coronavirus cases — the highest one-day increase since Jan. 29 — and 20 deaths over the preceding day, as the state’s COVID-19 test positivity rate hit 14 percent.

The data posted online by the Department of Health and Human Services raised state totals to 353,746 cases and 5,874 deaths.

New cases were well above the two-week moving average, which rose from 792 on Tuesday to 814. The rate has been rising steadily since it hit a recent low of 132 cases per day on June 5, according to state data.

Nevada’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, also continued to rise, jumping 0.3 percentage points to 14.0 percent. The rate has more than quadrupled since hitting its recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9.

The state reported 1,143 hospitalizations of confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19, unchanged from Tuesday’s report. Hospitalizations also have been climbing since reaching a recent low of 209 on June 12 and are have nearly reached the peak of the virus’ second wave last summer.

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.

In an effort to slow the spread, Nevada on Tuesday quickly followed a recommendation from the Centers for Disease and Control and mandated masks in public indoor spaces in areas with high rates of COVID-19 transmission

That includes 12 of 17 counties in the state, including Clark County.

Public health officials have said that the presence in the state of the delta variant, a more contagious form of the coronavirus, has been largely driving the growth in new cases and hospitalizations, especially in Southern Nevada, with unvaccinated residents accounting for more than 90 percent of new infections, according to the Nevada Hospital Association.

As of last week, there had been only 202 reported hospitalizations involving so-called breakthrough cases in fully vaccinated people in the state.

Public health officials have been emphasizing the need for more Nevadans to get vaccinated. The effectiveness of those appeals and inducements like a $5 million state raffle and pop-up clinics offering big prizes remains unclear, but Nevada, which is well below the national average in vaccinations, has seen an uptick in doses administered over the past two weeks.

Wednesday’s report showed that the two-week moving average of doses administered to Nevada residents per day was at 5,445, a slight decrease from the 5,672 reported on Tuesday but still well above the average of just under 5,000 two weeks ago.

State figures released early this week indicated that the variant, first detected in India, was responsible for 81 percent of COVID-19 cases in the last week, based on genetic testing done on a sampling of the new cases. In Clark County, the delta variant accounted for 84 percent of the samples collected in July and genetically sequenced, a significant increase from the 59 percent reported in June.

The Southern Nevada Health District, meanwhile, reported 1,048 new COVID-19 cases in Clark County on Wednesday, bringing the local case total to 277,982.

It also reported 16 of the state’s deaths, bringing the number of deaths in the county to 4,669.

Among the new deaths was Gary Myers, an administrative support assistant with the Las Vegas Fire Department, it said on Twitter on Wednesday. Myers had been with the department for almost 27 years.

The county’s 14-day positivity rate also continued to climb, increasing to 15.3 percent.

County numbers are included in the statewide totals.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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