The full COVID-19 report for Dec. 13-19 appears below.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Last week, it looked like Clark County might be headed for a new surge in COVID-19 cases as the Christmas holiday approaches. But not so fast — data released today shows spikes quickly dropped without filling hospitals with COVID patients.

An update on the wastewater surveillance dashboard, which tracks levels of COVID-19 DNA in sewer samples at several sites around the valley, shows that spikes have dropped in just a week. Levels at the Las Vegas monitoring station and one of three Henderson stations had skyrocketed, surpassing levels from last January — the peak of the omicron spike, which produced the highest numbers of cases for the entire pandemic.

Wastewater surveillance can give health officials a warning that the virus is spreading. People may have been exposed to the virus, but it hasn’t had time to cause illness.

These charts show the most recent reports available for monitoring stations around the valley. The green line shows the number of gene copies per milliliter of wastewater sampled (left axis). The gray background shows case averages (right axis):

Spikes last year were followed by a surge in cases. But that hasn’t happened so far this time around. Elevated levels in sewer samples haven’t been followed by a surge in cases.

Dan Gerrity of the Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) pointed out last week that many cases just go unreported now, with more people using at-home tests. If that’s the case, there’s still a risk of spreading the virus — and that can be dangerous for people who have underlying health conditions.

New spikes are showing up in Boulder City, Blue Diamond and a different Henderson monitoring station along the Las Vegas Wash in Henderson. The most recent data provided on the UNLV website is from Dec. 14.

Cases and hospitalizations were down in Clark County and around the state compared to last week, according to data released today by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The 14-day moving average (per 100,000 population) in Clark County decreased to an average of 248 cases per day — a decrease of 8.1% over last week. Actual cases reported by DHHS dropped to 1,775, down from 2,113 last week in Clark County.

A year ago, that average in Clark County was at 859 as the omicron spike was about to begin.

Statewide, the 14-day moving average decreased to 321 cases per day, down 7.7% from the previous week. The actual number of cases dropped from 2,792 to 2,318.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Clark County dropped by 15, now standing at 279. Statewide, hospitalizations are at 327 as of Monday, down from 345 the previous week.

Cases and hospitalizations have shown more of a “bump” than a spike over the past month.

Information from the Southern Nevada Health District shows that the dominant variant in Clark County’s cases over the past 30 days is COVID-19 BQ.1.1 (54.5% of cases), followed by COVID-19 BQ.1 (30.6% of cases).

Dr. Edwin Oh, an associate professor for the Nevada Institute of Personalized Medicine at the UNLV School of Medicine, said last week that the difference in variants could be playing a role in the wastewater data.

“We are observing BQ.1 and its sub-variants displace variants that were dominant previously. In addition, we think that BQ.1/BQ.1.1 variants have led to an increase in viral counts in wastewater across Southern Nevada,” he said.

Nevada reported 28 deaths linked to COVID-19, with 24 from Clark County. Nevada’s total number of deaths from the pandemic now stands at 11,705, with 9,150 from Clark County.

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) 248 — down from 270 the previous week. (-8.14%)
  • Total cases: 611,190*
  • Deaths: 24 since last week (total: 9,150)
  • Hospitalizations: 279 (down 15 from the previous week)
    *-A difference in case counts exists between SNHD and the state. By SNHD’s current count, Clark County has had 592,237 cases as of this week.

NEVADA

  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 321 — down from 348 the previous week. (-7.75%)
  • Total cases: 805,961
  • Deaths: 28 since last week (total: 11,705)
  • Hospitalizations: 327 (down 18 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.