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Nevada COVID-19 test positivity rate eclipses 15 percent

Updated August 3, 2021 - 10:53 pm

Nevada on Tuesday reported 1,215 new coronavirus cases and 11 deaths.

Updated data from the Department of Health and Human Services posted on the state’s coronavirus website showed the totals increasing to 360,147 cases and 5,929 deaths.

New cases were well above the two-week moving average, which decreased from 929 per day Monday to 908.

The two-week moving average of daily deaths, meanwhile, stayed at six. That number had dropped to a recent low of two per day May 31 but has slowly risen since then.

State data showed that Nevada’s two-week test positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, rose another 0.2 of a percentage point to 15.1 percent.

State data also showed that 1,215 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the state. That’s a slight decrease from Monday’s report, but still a high number that’s above the peak of Nevada’s 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.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

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. Most of that growth has occurred in Southern Nevada.

New data released late Monday showed that the delta variant accounted for 84 percent of cases in Nevada in July. That’s a significant increase from the 59 percent it represented in June. That number is even higher, at 88 percent, for cases sequenced in Clark County.

As numbers continue to rise throughout the state, officials have continually stressed the importance of vaccinations. Vaccination numbers have increased in the past few weeks, and the number of vaccine doses administered per day has risen by more than 1,000 in the past two weeks.

Still, just 47.91 percent of the eligible population has been fully vaccinated, according to Tuesday’s report.

According to the state’s last report Thursday, there have been a total of 235 breakthrough cases — where a fully vaccinated person contracts COVID-19 — that required hospitalization. According to the data, 42 of those cases resulted in death.

That means, overall, vaccinated people accounted for only 0.007 percent of deaths from COVID-19 in the state.

In keeping with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state records data on only breakthrough cases that result in hospitalization or death. There is no available data on the amount of breakthrough cases that result in low or minimal symptoms and don’t require hospitalization.

Meanwhile, the Southern Nevada Health District reported 964 new COVID-19 cases in Clark County, bringing the local case total to 283,321. The county also reported 10 of the state’s deaths, bringing the total to 4,721.

The county’s 14-day positivity rate also continued to climb, increasing to 16.1 percent.

County numbers are reflected in the statewide totals.

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