LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Recent increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have led the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to elevate the community level in Clark County to “medium.”

The CDC uses the community level to describe the risk of transmission and the pressure on hospital resources due to COVID-19.

The change brings back some precautions, but does not carry any requirements for wearing a mask. The following guidelines are offered under “medium” community level:

Currently, all the counties in the southern half of Nevada are at “medium” level: Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln and Nye counties. The rest of the state is at “low.”

Clark County has seen hospitalizations increase over the past several weeks, and a Wednesday report from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services showed 279 COVID-19 patients in Southern Nevada, an increase of 39 over the past week.

“The best way to protect yourself and others this season is to take proactive steps to stay healthy,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District.

The county has been at “low” community level since Aug. 11. That week, hospitalizations dropped from 285 to 226. The week before that, the county came off “high” community level as hospitalizations dropped from 349 to 285.

The Clark County numbers used by the CDC to determine community level:

  • Case rate per 100,000 population (7-day average): 96.31, up from 61.76 last week
  • New COVID-19 admissions per 100,000 population: 12.1, up from 8.9 last week
  • % staffed inpatient beds in use by patients with confirmed COVID-19: 4.2%, up from 3.6% last week

The Southern Nevada Health District reports seasonal respiratory illnesses coupled with the ongoing circulation of the COVID-19 virus can have a heavy impact — both on the people who get sick and on the health care system in general.

SNHD recommends that all people, but especially those who are more at risk for severe illness or live with someone who is, take extra precautions at this time:

  • Wash hands frequently with soap and running water. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue. Throw the tissue away after using it.
  • Consider wearing a well-fitting, good-quality mask when indoors or in crowded spaces
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Clean commonly touched surfaces.
  • Stay home when sick and limit contact with others.
  • Take a COVID-19 test. People who develop flu-like symptoms should take a COVID-19 test, especially if they have underlying conditions that put them more at risk for severe illness or hospitalization from flu or COVID.