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Nevada’s COVID-19 metrics continue to paint mixed picture of outbreak

Updated August 27, 2021 - 3:33 pm

Nevada on Friday added 1,287 new COVID-19 cases and 35 deaths as the state’s metrics on the disease caused by the new coronavirus continued to paint a muddled picture of the direction of the outbreak.

Data posted by the Department of Health and Human Services on the state’s coronavirus website brought the cumulative totals for the state to 386,559 cases and 6,433 deaths.

New cases were well above the 14-day moving average of 926, which was down from 938 the previous day.

While Friday was the 12th straight report with more than 1,000 new cases, the 14-day average has now declined by 82 cases per day since it reached a recent peak of 1,120 cases per day on Aug. 17.

That apparent contradiction is the result of state and county public health agencies redistributing the daily data after it is reported to better reflect the onset of symptoms. They do the same with data on deaths, which is why the moving-average trend lines frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

Deaths were more than double the two-week moving average of 14 per day and pushed the total number of fatalities in the state past 500 for August — the first month to exceed that threshold since February. Unlike new cases, the moving average has risen for two straight days, though it remains below the recent high of 17 deaths per day reported on Aug. 18.

Hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients declined by 72 to 1,210, continuing a recent pattern of daily fluctuations along a relatively flat trend line.

The state’s test positivity rate, meanwhile, declined by 0.1 percentage point to 13.7 percent.

The rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, has been declining steadily from its recent peak of 16.4 percent on Aug. 13 but remains well above the World Health Organization’s target of 5.0 percent to stop the spread of the disease.

The Southern Nevada Health District reported 698 new cases of COVID-19 and 33 deaths in Clark County over the preceding day.

That pushed total cases in the county to 301,709 and fatalities to 5,160.

Remembering those we’ve lost to COVID-19

The county’s test positivity rate continued to decline, dropping 0.2 percentage points to 12.7 percent, a full percentage point below the state’s rate.

The health district also reported Thursday that 7,084 fully vaccinated individuals in the county had tested positive for COVID-19, up from 6,309 a week prior. The breakthrough cases represents 0.66 percent of fully vaccinated people in the county, or 66 cases out of every 10,000 residents.

The health district said 349 of the breakthrough cases led to hospitalization, up from 304 last week, and 104 resulted in death, up from 87 the week prior. The fatalities represent 0.0096 percent of fully vaccinated residents, or one death out of every 10,000 fully vaccinated people.

Statewide there have been 500 breakthrough cases reported as of Thursday, including 107 deaths. Most of those who succumbed to the disease despite being fully vaccinated were seniors, with the median age of the victims being 73, according to state data.

Contact Mike Brunker at mbrunker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter.

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