Updated September 13, 2021 - 5:44 pm
Nevada’s two-week daily average of new coronavirus cases climbed for a second straight report on Monday, as the average number of deaths per day continued to slide, according to new state data.
But Clark County reported some good news, as its COVID-19 test positivity rate dropped out of the “high” transmission rate as calculated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Protection and into the “substantial” category — the first time that has happened since the current state face mask mandate took effect in late July.
Numbers posted online by the Department of Health and Human Services, showed 2,950 new COVID-19 cases and 26 deaths from Friday through Sunday.
That pushed state totals to 404,851 cases and 6,728 deaths.
The 14-day moving averages for the key COVID-19 metrics moved in opposite directions. The daily new cases average jumped from 876 on Friday to 948 on Monday. It was the second report in a row to show an increase in new infections, which had reached a recent low of 859 cases per day on Thursday.
The metric had been trending lower since August before the latest bounce.
The daily average for deaths over the same two-week period fell from 11 on Friday to nine on Monday.
Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada
New cases remained above the two-week average, when spread over three days. Deaths over the three days were just below the moving average.
Positivity rate drops sharply
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, continued its recent descent, dropping a significant 0.9 percentage point to 11.3 percent, according to state data.
The rate had been climbing steadily since hitting a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9 but rebounding to a recent high of 16.4 percent two weeks ago, according to state data. Since then, it has been dropping faster than metrics like deaths and hospitalizations, which have registered only slight declines.
Nye County’s test positivity rate, which surpassed 32 percent in late August, continued its recent decrease, dipping to 20.8 percent on Monday.
State officials have said that regular testing protocols for schools and businesses, where people are tested consistently even if they don’t show any COVID-19 symptoms, could be causing that figure to drop quickly.
The state also reported that 1,120 people in Nevada were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, 15 more than the last report on Friday. That figure has been fluctuating daily, but is markedly lower than the recent high of 1,317 on Aug. 10.
As of Monday’s report, 53.44 percent of Nevadans 12 and older had been fully vaccinated.
That rate, though, varies widely from county to county. Carson City has the state’s highest vaccination rate, at 63.41 percent, while Storey County is on the other end of the spectrum at 18.21 percent.
As of Thursday, Nevada had recorded 600 cases where a fully vaccinated person has tested positive for COVID-19 and has then required hospitalization. Of those, 134 people who have been hospitalized with a “breakthrough case” have died, which represents about 2 percent of all fatalities, according to state data.
Of all the breakthrough cases requiring hospitalization, 65 percent were among residents 70 or older.
The Southern Nevada Health District on Monday reported that 99.2 percent of cases sequenced in the last 30 days were from the delta variant. That number has been on the rise for months, and a state report from Sept. 3 found that nearly all the outbreaks in the state were driven by the delta variant.
Updated state numbers on variants were not available.
A first: County positivity rate not ‘high’
The health district also on Monday reported 1,938 new coronavirus cases and 19 additional deaths from Friday through Sunday in Clark County.
Totals in the county rose to 311,915 cases and 5,358 deaths.
The county’s two-week test positivity rate decreased by 1.3 percentage points to 8.8 percent.
That translated to a 9.18 percent rate using a seven-day average, dropping the county out of the “high transmission” category as calculated by CDC and into the “substantial” category. That was the first time that has happened since Gov. Steve Sisolak mandated face makes in crowded indoor settings in areas with high or substantial rates on July 27.
To exit the mask mandate, the county must record two back to back weeks with a positivity rate lower than 8.0 percent and two successive weeks of fewer than 50 new cases per 100,000 residents. As of Monday, the county’s rate in the latter category stood at 168.88 per 100,000.
— 12+ population: 2.64 million.
— Doses administered: 3.00 million.
— Vaccinations initiated: 1.69 million.
— Vaccinations completed: 1.43 million.
— Eligible fully vaccinated: 53.44 percent.
Sources: Nevada Department of Health and Human Services; U.S. Census Bureau