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Nevada COVID test positivity rate tops 6% for 1st time since March 7

Updated July 2, 2021 - 4:52 pm

Nevada on Friday reported 508 new coronavirus cases and five additional deaths, as the state’s test-positivity rate reached its highest point in nearly four months, state data shows.

Data from the Centers for Disease Control, meanwhile, showed that Nevada’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people remained highest in the nation on Friday for the third day in a row. The metric rose from 108.8 to 118.8, the agency reported.

Updated figures posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services on the state’s coronavirus dashboard brought totals in the state to 334,763 cases and 5,697 deaths since the pandemic began.

New COVID-19 cases remained higher than the two-week moving average of daily cases, which declined slightly to 303. Deaths were also higher than the average of three fatalities reported daily over the same time period.

The two-week moving average of new cases increased nearly every day for the past three weeks before registering back-to-back declines on Thursday and Friday, state data shows. Public health officials say that the so-called delta coronavirus variant first detected in India appears to be driving much of the recent increase in cases.

The state’s two-week moving average of fatalities, meanwhile, has held steady at three per day for the past six weeks.

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.

The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, continued its recent surge on Friday.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

The rate increased by 0.4 percentage points to reach 6.2 percent — the first time the metric has surpassed 6 percent since March 7, when it stood at 6.3 percent, according to state data. The rate is well above the 5.0 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to prevent the disease from spreading.

After steadily decreasing from mid-April through early June, the test positivity rate has either remained the same or increased every day for the past three weeks, the data shows.

The 14-day average of daily tests per 100,000 people, meanwhile, has remained relatively flat for about two weeks in the 4,000-plus a day range, state data shows.

There were 440 people in Nevada hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases as of Friday’s report, 16 more than the previous day. Hospitalization figures also have been climbing steadily since reaching a recent low point of 212 on May 31, though they remain far below the levels seen during the peak of the last wave of cases in December and January.

The state will next update its coronavirus website on Tuesday due to the Fourth of July holiday.

The Southern Nevada Health District, meanwhile, reported 449 new coronavirus cases and four additional deaths in Clark County, according to data posted to coronavirus website.

Data posted Friday to the district’s coronavirus webpage pushed cumulative totals for the county to 260,838 cases and 4,508 deaths.

The county’s positivity rate increased by 0.5 percentage points, reaching 6.7 percent, according to state data.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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