Below is the full COVID-19 report for Dec. 7.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Ups and downs in COVID-19 measurements continue, with new cases down and hospitalizations running higher in data released today.

Nevada’s test positivity rate dropped slightly — from 7.4% to 7.3% — in the first decline since just before the Thanksgiving weekend.

Cases dropped under 500 in Clark County and were about 650 statewide, with 10 deaths in the county and 20 statewide.

A post-Thanksgiving surge hasn’t materialized, but Clark County hasn’t been able to shake the Delta variant. The omicron variant hasn’t appeared in Nevada yet, but hospital officials say it should be expected.

The Nevada Hospital Association’s weekly update indicates that 12% of hospital beds statewide are in use by COVID-19 patients — up from 9% just a week ago. Staffing shortages, particularly in nursing, continue to be a problem for health care facilities.

A look at current COVID-19 numbers:

CLARK COUNTY

  • New cases: 494 (total: 347,863)
  • Deaths: 10 (total: 6,279)
  • Test positivity rate: 7.2% (unchanged since the previous day)
  • Hospitalizations: 574 (up 17 since the previous day)

NEVADA

  • New cases: 652 (total: 462,811)
  • Deaths: 20 (total: 8,146)
  • Test positivity rate: 7.3% (down from 7.4% the previous day)
  • Hospitalizations: 689 (up 15 since the previous day)

The state is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on the mask rule. The mandate will remain in place in each county until the following conditions are met:

  • The COVID-19 test positivity rate must be below 8%
  • The case rate (per 100,000 population over 7 days) must be below 50 for two full weeks. A rating above 100 cases per 100,000 individuals or higher is considered “high” transmission risk, while 50-99.99 per 100,000 is considered “substantial” by the CDC. The county must reach “moderate” for two full weeks.

Test positivity in Clark County is at 7.2%, unchanged from the previous day. The current case rate for Clark County is “high” at 134.4.

Nevada’s test positivity rate is at 7.3%, down from 7.4% the previous day. It fell below 5.0%, the World Health Organization’s goal, on May 17 and climbed above it on June 28.

Of the 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths reported in Nevada, 10 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 6,279 of the state’s 8,146 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is at 5 deaths per day.

As of Dec. 2, the Southern Nevada Health District reports there are 218 breakthrough deaths (+8), 731 breakthrough hospitalizations (+44) and 14,187 breakthrough cases (+711). (Increases are compared to numbers reported on Nov. 24.)

As of yesterday, a total of 5,666,975 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 9,117 since the previous day. The number of tests reported has gone up as more employers require employees to be vaccinated or go through weekly testing.

*NOTE: Daily lab data from DHHS and SNHD reports is updated every morning for the previous day.

TRACKING NV COUNTIES

The test positivity rate in Clark County has dropped below 8%, which takes the county off the state’s watch list for elevated transmission risk. If the county can sustain levels for test positivity and testing, state restrictions — including mask requirements — could be relaxed. A separate measure of the county’s case rate — currently “high” at 134.4 cases (per 100,000 population over the past seven days) — needs to drop below 50 for two straight weeks before the mask mandate can end.

In today’s report, nine of Nevada’s 17 counties are still flagged for high transmission.

Clark County’s case rate (469 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) is flagged in data reported today. Test positivity rate (7.2%) and testing (291 tests per day per 100,000) are within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 3,715,129 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Dec. 7.

As of today, 53.08% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 62.28% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 52.35% of its eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

A BREAKDOWN OF NEVADA HOSPITALIZATIONS

NOTE: The state is not updating hospitalization data on weekends or holidays.

According to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the number of hospitalized patients in Nevada was UP (+15) since the previous day.

The Nevada Hospital Association’s weekly update notes that 12% of hospital beds statewide are being used by COVID-19 patients. That’s up from 9% in just a week. Hospitals are able to handle the load — but the shortage of nurses remains a big problem for hospitals. A behavioral hospital in Reno announced it will close because of staffing issues.

“Omicron has not been identified in the state to date but can be reasonably anticipated,” NHA said, noting that the Delta variant remains dominant in Nevada. “Pfizer’s CEO reports that their vaccine is effective against the Omicron variant.”

NHA also compared recent COVID-19 measurements to the first wave of the virus, which peaked in the spring of 2020. Hospitalizations now — with the Delta variant — are higher now than they were then.

“During the first wave, the state was effectively on lockdown and searching for the most effective mitigation methods. Today, we are open for business,” the NHA said. “This illustrates that as a novel virus becomes better understood, and testing, treatment, and therapies are developed the public’s response to the unknown and public health’s mitigation efforts both become less stringent.”

The current number of hospitalizations is 689 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 167 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 97 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13 with 2,025 cases.

RECOVERY CASES IN SOUTHERN NEVADA

The number of people who have recovered from the virus in Southern Nevada continues to increase. The latest county update estimates a total of 330,643 recovered cases; that’s 95% of all reported cases in the county, according to SNHD’s latest report.

The health district provides a daily map with the number of positive tests in each ZIP code in Clark County.


MITIGATION MEASURES IN NEVADA

Nevada reopened to 100% capacity on June 1 and social distancing guidelines lifted, helping the state return to mostly pre-pandemic times, with some exceptions.

The CDC reversed course on July 27, saying fully vaccinated Americans in areas with “substantial and high” transmission should wear masks indoors when in public as COVID-19 cases rise. Most of Nevada falls into those two risk categories.

Nevada said it would adopt the CDC’s guidance with the new mask guideline that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 30. This overrides Clark County’s employee mask mandate, which went into effect in mid-July.

On Aug. 16, Gov. Sisolak signed a new directive that allows fully vaccinated attendees at large gatherings to remove their masks, but only if the venue chooses to require everyone in attendance to provide proof of vaccination. Those who have just one shot and are not “fully vaccinated” would still be allowed to attend, as would children under 12, but both would need to wear masks.

Masks still must be worn when required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local businesses and workplace guidance.

State approval for vaccinating children 5-11 years old was given on Nov. 3, with plans by the Southern Nevada Health District to begin vaccinations on Nov. 10. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for children at this time.

SEE ALSO: Previous day’s report