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Nevada records highest 1-day COVID-19 death toll since mid-August

Updated December 2, 2020 - 5:24 pm

Nevada on Wednesday reported 35 deaths from the coronavirus over the preceding day — the second-highest single-day increase reported by state authorities since the start of the pandemic.

The fatalities were the most since the record 38 deaths were recorded more than three months ago, on Aug. 20, according to data from the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website. Fatalities also were well above the moving seven-day average of 20 per day.

There were also 2,129 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the new coronavirus, reported throughout the state, slightly above the moving seven-day average of 2,108.

The updated figures brought totals in the state to 156,996 cases and 2,201 deaths.

The state’s positivity rate, calculated by the Review-Journal as the number of cumulative cases divided by people tested since the pandemic started, reached 15.84 percent on Wednesday, a 0.15 percentage point increase from the previous day.

The positivity rate and the daily increase in new cases has been increasing since mid-September.

The state health department calculates a positivity rate over a two-week period, and the rate remained at 17.6 percent on Wednesday. The rate is at the highest level since the state began reporting the statistic in mid-October.

In Clark County, there were 1,597 additional cases reported, along with 17 additional deaths, according to data posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

The updated figures brought totals in the county to 120,009 cases and 1,799 deaths.

The Washoe County Health District reported a record 10 deaths, along with 401 cases, for totals of 25,870 cases and 295 deaths.

‘Animosity and apathy’

In another development, Caleb Cage, the director of Nevada’s COVID-19 response, said public “animosity and apathy” toward state measures aimed at limiting the virus’ spread were contributing to the surge of new cases and deaths.

“In every state in the country, there is animosity and apathy among the public that has resulted in mitigation measures becoming less effective,” he said. “And that’s just not in Nevada, that is across the globe as well.”

Cage made the comment at a telephone briefing for reporters in response to a question about a Nevada Hospital Association statement issued Tuesday that some took as a backhanded criticism of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s actions.

In a news release, the trade association said that messaging on COVID-19 prevention measures, including social distancing, masks and self-isolation, “may prove to be the best strategy until widespread vaccination is available.”

“On and off again closures appear to be building animosity and apathy among the public and are proving ineffective,” the release said. The association removed the sentence Tuesday night.

Cage told reporters that the state did not interpret the statement as an “attack on the state’s mitigation measures.”

It was not clear why the statement was removed. The association did not respond Wednesday to a request for comment.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter. Review-Journal staff writer Mary Hynes contributed to this report.

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