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Nevada adds 1,346 new COVID cases, sees sharp jump in positivity rate

Nevada on Tuesday reported 1,346 new coronavirus cases and five deaths over the preceding four days as well as a sharp increase in the state’s test positivity rate.

Updated data covering Friday through Monday posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services on its coronavirus website showed the two-week moving average of new COVID-19 cases increasing to 352 per day and pushed the state’s case total to 336,109.

The state’s death total increased to 5,702. The five deaths reported were below the two-week moving average of two per day, when spread over four days.

Nevada no longer reports numbers over the weekends or on public holidays, and public health officials have said that reporting on Mondays and Tuesdays can be inflated as a result of the delayed reporting.

The long July Fourth weekend was the first four-day gap since the state stopped weekend reporting in mid-April, so the figures could not be directly compared to previous post-weekend reporting covering three days. But new cases reported were far above than the previous high of 915 reported on June 28.

The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, increased sharply to 7.9 percent, a 1.7 percentage point jump from the 6.2 percent rate reported Friday, according to state data. The rate has been increasing since it hit a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9.

The rate is now well above the 5 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to contain the virus.

The data also showed 530 people with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized in the state, an increase of 90 from the last update on Friday.

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.

Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District reported 1,296 new cases in Clark County for Friday through Monday, bringing the local cumulative case total to 262,134. It also reported all five of the state’s deaths, bringing the number of deaths in the county to 4,513.

The county’s 14-day positivity rate also climbed, increasing from 6.7 percent in Friday’s report to 8.7 percent, also the highest the county’s rate has been since February.

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

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