Updated August 5, 2021 - 3:35 pm
Nevada on Thursday reported 26 new coronavirus deaths, the second straight day the state logged more than 20 deaths.
In addition, the state reported 1,135 new coronavirus cases. Updated data from the Department of Health and Human Services pushed the state’s totals to 362,275 cases and 5,979 deaths.
New cases remained higher than the 14-day moving average, which increased from 910 to 918. The rate has been rising steadily since it hit a recent low of 132 cases per day on June 5, according to state data.
Deaths also were far above the moving average of eight daily reported fatalities over the same period. Fatalities had remained fairly flat as the state’s other key COVID-19 metrics began rising in early June, but the 14-day moving average is now four times the recent low of two per day reported on June 1.
The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, increased by 0.2 percentage points on Thursday, reaching 15.7 percent. The rate has risen quickly since hitting its recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9 and is more than three times higher than the 5.0 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization to stop the spread of the virus.
The state also reported that 1,233 people in Nevada were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, which is 27 more than the previous day’s report. That number hasn’t been reached since January and represents the current peak of the state’s fourth wave.
Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada
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 so-called delta variant has been responsible for much of the recent surge. State figures released early this week indicated the variant was responsible for 84 percent of COVID-19 cases in the last week, based on genetic testing done on a sampling of the new cases. In Clark County, the delta variant accounted for 88 percent of the samples collected in July and genetically sequenced, a significant increase from the 59 percent reported in June.
As metrics continued to rise, a mask mandate for counties with high rates of COVID-19 transmission went into effect last Friday.
During a Thursday press conference, Gov. Steve Sisolak said he was not planning to announce any new capacity restrictions. He continued to urge Nevadans to get vaccinated, striking a concerned tone as the state continues to work at improving a vaccination rate below the country’s average.
Sisolak specifically discussed Sunday’s Gold Cup final at Allegiant Stadium, saying that people were wearing masks when they entered the stadium but quickly took them off once they sat down. He called for local businesses to help with curbing the spread of the virus, especially at mass gatherings like concerts or sporting events.
“I don’t want a mandate,” he said. “I’m tired of just giving people mandates. I want the cooperation coming back. And they’re taking the first step and saying ‘Governor, we’re with you.’ Because I believe they are with me. We’re all together on this.”
Sisolak will hold another drawing for the Vax Nevada Days Raffle on Thursday night, part of an initiative that will pay out $5 million in prizes to Nevadans that get vaccinated. After state officials announced the raffle and other incentive-based programs like pop-up vaccine clinics, vaccination numbers have risen.
The state is now administering over 6,200 doses of the vaccine every day, an increase of about 1,500 per day since mid-July. In total, 48.13 percent of Nevadans 12 and over have been fully vaccinated.
Meanwhile, Clark County on Thursday recorded 936 new coronavirus cases and 24 additional deaths, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District.
The county’s two-week test positivity rate increased by 0.2 percentage points on Thursday, reaching 16.7 percent, state data shows.
County figures are reflected in the state totals.