LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — When Clark County tipped the scales to “high” community level for COVID-19 a week ago, hospitalizations were just above the level to trigger the higher level.

Now, hospitalizations are well above that line, and Nye County has become the second Nevada county with a community level of “high,” according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The Southern Nevada Health District last week advised people to wear face masks indoors in public settings, and while case rates aren’t through the roof, hospitalizations are causing some concern.

The CDC’s update for Clark County shows:

  • Case rate per 100,000 population: 312.92 (up from 228.04)
  • New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population: 14.1 (up from 10.9)
  • Percent of hospital beds used by COVID-19 patients: 5.5% (down from 4.4%)

Nye County — where the majority of cases come from Pahrump — shows a case rate of 217.1 and hospital admissions at 14.1 per 100,000 population. COVID-19 patients occupy 5.5% of the hospital beds.

Thursday’s update on the CDC website shows Carson City, Mineral and Lyon counties now at “medium” as COVID-19 becomes a concern again across the state.

Any mask mandates would have to be issued by county government, but mandates don’t seem likely at this time. While stores can set their own policies, many people are wearing masks again in public even without any requirements. The Nevada Hospital Association said in its weekly report that hospitalizations are rising in Clark County, Washoe County and Carson City, but no concerns were expressed about hospitals’ ability to handle the patient load.

The “community level” is determined by hospital admissions and patient load. The table below shows the different factors that play into the level, starting with the case rate.

If the case rate is under 200, the top of the chart determines the community level. If the case rate is 200 or more, the bottom rows of the chart determines the level.