The full COVID-19 report for Dec. 27-Jan. 2 appears below.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County goes into 2023 with COVID-19 causing fewer illnesses, but still posing a significant threat to people with underlying health conditions.

The 14-day moving average (per 100,000 population) from week to week shows cases declining by 4.6% in Clark County, and 5% statewide. Hospitalizations have gone up slightly in Clark County and statewide. As of Monday, 258 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Clark County, and 310 people are hospitalized statewide.

A “bump” in hospitalizations occurred in December, but levels have dropped again. Coming out of the Christmas and New Year’s holidays when gatherings presented a chance for the virus to spread, there could be another bump in hospitalizations ahead.

The Nevada Hospital Association described the hospital situation as “stable.” About 14% of all emergency room visits are for COVID-related symptoms.

“With regard to the NHA‐monitored diseases, flu (hospitalizations) have continued to decrease, while RSV and COVID have remained relatively stable. Flu hospitalizations have declined to 106; 67% of these are Type‐A. Flu currently accounts for only 23 ICU patients. 60% of these ICU patients are Type‐A influenza. RSV hospitalizations are at 63 overall, with 34 of these cases being in the pediatric population (53%). There are 13 children in the PICUs with RSV. Confirmed COVID‐19 hospitalizations are at 272 admissions.”

Case counts have fallen in data reported by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), with cases at about 38% of levels reported three weeks ago. Week-to-week comparisons show case counts have dropped about 6% from last week. But Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) show an unusually high number of cases for Clark County this week — 4,430. That number is higher than the statewide total (an increase of 1,968 cases). DHHS explained the high number in an email Wednesday afternoon:

More than 65% of the Clark County COVID-19 cases reported today are historical cases that have been added to the Clark County total through data clean up and review that added the county to the case information.

Shannon Litz, Nevada Department of Health and Human Services spokeswoman

To put the numbers in perspective, data from the same time last year, when the omicron spike was taking off, there were more than 18,000 cases reported in the week from Dec. 27 to Jan. 2. More than 1,000 people were in the hospital.

Deaths continue to mount, with 13 reported in Clark County and 27 statewide. Cumulative numbers for the pandemic show 9,201 deaths in Clark County and 11,778 statewide. Deaths can be reported weeks — or even months — after they actually occur, and it’s important to understand that the deaths probably did not occur over the course of the past week.

The omicron XBB subvariant, which has taken over as the dominant strain of COVID-19 in the Northeast U.S., has not been detected yet in Clark County, according to SNHD.

The dominant variants in Clark County remain BQ.1.1 (56.6% of cases sequenced) and BQ.1 (31.8% of cases sequenced). BF.7 is the next highest, but has fallen to just over 5% of cases.

“COVID variant XBB.1.5 has been associated with evasion of immunity,” according to the NHA report. “However, it is not clear to what extent booster immunization will provide protection. Vaccination that includes booster immunization remains a recommended intervention to avoid infection, hospitalization, and death.” NHA said a “mild” wave has occurred in Singapore.

Concern about subvariants from China have become a concern recently as restrictions have been dismantled in a volatile political climate. Beijing’s rapid easing of COVID-19 restrictions has led to a surge in cases.

Last week, U.S. officials announced all travelers from China would be required to show a negative COVID-19 test before flying here.

An update on wastewater surveillance shows COVID-19 DNA levels around the valley have leveled out. Increases in levels at two Henderson monitoring sites — in the Anthem area and the Whitney area — show small increases. The highest levels of COVID-19 DNA was detected in Boulder City, but it remains about half of the level found in mid-December reports.

The project that monitors sewer samples provides an early warning of the possibility of rising illnesses, with people passing COVID-19 DNA into the sewers before they actually become sick. Milder illnesses from recent variants mean a spike in genetic material might not necessarily translate into people getting sick.

Another factor in the difficulty in monitoring the spread of COVID-19: At-home tests are not reported to the health district, in a sense “hiding” an increase in cases that only become apparent if the patient seeks medical care.

If you have symptoms, get tested and avoid spreading the virus to others. If you haven’t been vaccinated, go to the Southern Nevada Health District’s website for information on getting a shot, or updating your immunity by getting a booster.

CLARK COUNTY

  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 186 — down from 195 the previous week. (-4.6%)
  • Total cases: 617,056*
  • Deaths: 13 since last week (total: 9,201)
  • Hospitalizations: 258 (up 10 from the previous week)
    *-A difference in case counts exists between SNHD and the state. By SNHD’s current count, Clark County has had 594,125 cases as of this week.

NEVADA

  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 241 — down from 256 the previous week. (-5.0%)
  • Total cases: 809,812
  • Deaths: 27 since last week (total: 11,778)
  • Hospitalizations: 310 (up 6 from the previous week)

The county’s COVID-19 community level moved to “medium” on Thursday, Dec. 1, after staying at “low” since Aug. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

See last week’s report here.