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Nevada’s COVID-19 positivity rate inches higher again as deaths leap

Updated April 6, 2021 - 4:40 pm

Following a steady decline over nearly three months, Nevada’s two-week positivity rate increased for the second day in a row on Tuesday, to 4.4 percent, according to state data.

The state also reported the highest single-day increase in deaths in more than six weeks.

The positivity rate, which essentially measures the number of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, increased on Monday for the first time since mid-January. Both were 0.1 percentage point increases, according to figures posted to the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website.

Clark County’s two-week positivity rate also increased by 0.1 percentage points, reaching 4.2 percent.

Although the state positivity rate has increased slightly, it is still well below the 5 percent threshold recommended by the World Health Organization before governments consider easing restrictions. Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 response director, said Monday that state officials are monitoring the metric.

State officials are also looking to see how the widespread availability of vaccines will affect the metrics. As of Monday, all Nevadans 16 and older are eligible to receive the vaccine.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

There also were 295 new COVID-19 cases and 22 additional fatalities reported on Tuesday. The latter was the highest daily figure since 37 deaths were reported on Feb. 20, according to records maintained by the Review-Journal.

Totals in the state rose to 305,652 cases and 5,297 deaths, according to state data.

New cases were well above the moving two-week average of 194 daily reported cases, while fatalities were also well above the average of three reported daily deaths during the same time frame.

Both averages have been declining steadily since mid-January along with other disease metrics, although state officials noted last week that the downward trend appeared to be flattening.

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.

There were also 351 people in Nevada hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases as of Tuesday’s report, which is 52 more than the previous day.

Clark County on Tuesday reported 205 new coronavirus cases and 14 additional deaths, according to updated figures posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

Cumulative totals in the county rose to 235,900 cases and 4,146 deaths.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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