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Nevada adds more than 900 new coronavirus cases, double-digit deaths

Updated July 15, 2021 - 7:05 pm

Nevada on Thursday reported its largest single-day jump in new coronavirus cases in more than five months, extending recent rapid increases in most of the state’s major COVID-19 metrics.

The 938 cases recorded over the preceding day was the most reported in a single day since the state reported 959 new cases on Jan. 31, omitting reporting days following weekends when numbers tend to be inflated.

Thursday’s update from the state Department of Health and Human Services pushed the state’s case total to 342,230, and the death toll grew by 15 to reach 5,752.

The two-week moving average of new COVID-19 cases increased to 512 per day, up from the 482 reported on Wednesday. The average has been climbing steadily since it reached a recent low of 133 on June 10, state data shows.

The fatalities reported Thursday were five times greater than the two-week moving average, which stayed at three per day. It was the biggest one-day total of fatalities reported by the state since it recorded 22 on April 23. Deaths have remained relatively flat in recent weeks, bucking the upward trend of the state’s other leading metrics.

The update also showed the state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, jumping 0.5 percentage points to 10.9 percent. It has been steadily increasing since it hit a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9.

The number is more than double 5.0 percent, the benchmark recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the spread of the virus.

The state data also showed that 771 people with either confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 were hospitalized in the state, a decrease of nine from Wednesday.

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.

Despite the surge, state and local officials have said they are not considering imposing any new restrictions such as mask mandates or limits on gatherings, which were lifted on June.

Michelle White, the chief of staff for Gov. Steve Sisolak, said on a Thursday briefing call for reporters that state officials are continuing to monitor the situation.

“This is a different part of the pandemic than we’ve ever been in, with the introduction of mass vaccinations,” she said. “With that new introduction, there’s a lot of different ways of looking at this.”

Much of the recent increases in cases, hospitalizations and the positivity rate has been fueled by the more-contagious delta coronavirus variant, especially in Clark County.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported 886 new cases in the county on Thursday, bringing the local case total to 267,734. It also reported 13 of the state’s deaths, bringing the number of deaths in the county to 4,558.

The county’s 14-day positivity rate climbed from 11.8 percent to 12.3 percent.

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

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