Updated July 20, 2021 - 5:19 pm
Nevada on Tuesday reported more than 1,000 new coronavirus cases in a single day for the first time in nearly six months as new data showed the delta variant strengthening in the state.
Updated data from the Department of Health and Human Services posted on the state’s coronavirus website showed 1,004 new COVID-19 cases, pushing the state total to 346,167. It was the first time the state reported more than 1,000 cases in a given day since it tallied 1,070 infections on Jan. 30.
There were no fatalities reported, leaving the death total unchanged at 5,761.
New cases were well above the two-week moving average of new cases, which increased from 635 per day as of Monday to 652.
The two-week moving average of daily deaths, meanwhile, dropped from three to two.
State data showed that Nevada’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, continued to rise, jumping 0.4 percentage points to 12.4 percent.
The data also showed that 930 people with either confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized in the state, an increase of 36 from Monday.
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.
New cases, the positivity rate and hospitalizations all have been increasing for more than a month, particularly in Southern Nevada, which has been labeled as a “sustained hotspot” for COVID-19 by the federal government. Deaths have remained relatively flat over the period.
Later on Tuesday, the Clark County Commission mandated that all area employees wear face masks when working in indoor, public spaces. That came after the Southern Nevada Health District on Friday recommended that all members of the public wear masks when indoors.
The mandate will run through Aug. 17.
Public health officials have said that the presence in the state of the so-called delta variant, a more contagious form of the coronavirus, has been largely driving the growth in new cases and hospitalizations, with unvaccinated residents accounting for nearly all of the new infections.
The delta variant now accounts for 83 percent of new cases in the United States, according to CDC data.
Figures released late Monday show that the variant made up 73.8 percent of COVID samples genetically sequenced in Nevada since July 16. In Clark County, the delta variant accounted for 76 percent of samples collected in July, a significant increase from the 59 percent reported in June.
Officials stressed that vaccinations remain the main way to curb the spread, but vaccinations have been slowing despite promotions like the Vax Nevada Days raffle and pop-up events.
Despite such efforts, just 46.58 percent of the 12 and older population eligible to receive the vaccine in Nevada had completed their innoculations. And the state is now administering fewer than 5,000 shots a day, compared to nearly 8,000 per day when Sisolak announced the raffle in mid-June.
Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District reported 889 new COVID-19 cases in Clark County on Tuesday, bringing the local case total to 271,310. Data also showed a total of 4,565 deaths, one less than on Monday. In the past, state officials have said this type of discrepancy can happen because of data redistribution or a reporting error.
The county’s 14-day positivity rate also continued to climb, increasing to 13.8 percent.
Contact Jonah Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.
12 years+ population: 2.64 million.
Doses administered: 2.62 million.
Vaccinations initiated: 1.48 million.
Vaccinations completed: 1.25 million.
Those eligible fully vaccinated: 46.58 percent.
Sources: Department of Health and Human Services, U.S. Census Bureau