Updated August 13, 2021 - 12:09 pm
Nevada on Thursday reported 1,221 new coronavirus cases and 24 deaths over the preceding day.
Updated numbers posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services on the state’s coronavirus website pushed the totals to 369,846 cases and 6,120 deaths.
The two-week moving average of new cases in the state had risen slightly to 932 per day from 926 after recording small dips for two days in a row. The two-week moving average of deaths jumped from 10 to 11, as the number of COVID-19 deaths in the last week topped 100.
Hospitalization numbers in the state declined by 41, from 1,317 to 1,276, a day after the Nevada Hospital Association said it has seen a slowing in COVID-related hospitalizations in Southern Nevada, even as a similar surge gains steam in Northern Nevada.
The trade group said it was “cautiously optimistic that Nevada may be reaching a peak of the current wave of hospitalizations.”
But Julia Peek, deputy administrator for the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, said at a news briefing Thursday that it’s too early to say if that’s the case.
Watching and hoping
“We have been talking with Southern Nevada about it. I’d say too early to say right now that we’re on the downhill trend, though I would love to report that information and I hope that that’s true,” she said.
Current hospitalization numbers have surpassed the peak of the state’s second wave, but still have not come close to the third wave in the winter, in which more than 1,500 COVID patients were hospitalized at its peak.
Despite some recent slight improvements, metrics for the disease remain at levels not seen since late January or early February as the toll of the sick and dead continues to mount, in large part because of the dominating presence of the delta variant of the coronavirus in the state.
A report released this week showed that the delta variant accounted for 87 percent of the state’s new cases in the last 30 days. In Clark County, the delta variant accounted for 85 percent of cases sequenced during that time frame.
Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada
The state’s two-week test positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, remained unchanged at 16.3 percent for the third day in a row.
The rate, which has risen steadily since hitting a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9, stands at its highest level since Feb. 2.
As metrics have surged, the state has reported a significant increase in its vaccination numbers. Thursday’s report showed that the state was administering 6,490 shots per day, a noticeable increase from the recent low of 4,833 reported on July 15.
State data now shows that 48.89 percent of eligible Nevadans 12 and older have been fully vaccinated.
Breakthrough cases increase
While the delta variant primarily attacks the unvaccinated, it is also is causing breakthrough cases, or cases of COVID-19 in fully vaccinated people, to increase.
A new report from the Southern Nevada Health District showed that there had been 4,377 breakthrough self-reported cases in Clark County, representing an unknown portion of those reinfected. In addition, the health district reported a total of 225 breakthrough hospitalizations and 49 breakthrough deaths in the county.
That was 47 more cases and nine more deaths since the health district’s last report two weeks ago.
Of the 225 hospitalizations, 165 involved people 65 or older.
Clark County recorded 886 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths on Thursday, according to data from the health district’s coronavirus website. That brought county totals to 290,632 cases and 4,898 deaths.
The county’s two-week test positivity rate decreased by 0.1 percentage point on Thursday, to 16.8 percent. The rate has declined 0.4 percentage point since hitting a recent high of 17.2 percent on Sunday, according to state data.
An earlier version of this article misstated the total number of cases reported in Nevada.
Contact Jonah Dylan at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.
— 12+ population: 2.64 million.
— Doses administered: 2.78 million.
— Vaccinations initiated: 1.59 million.
— Vaccinations completed: 1.31 million.
— Eligible vaccinated: 48.89 percent.
Sources: Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Census Bureau