The full COVID-19 report for Oct. 25-31 appears below.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A steady rise in COVID-19 cases during the month of October has ended, but a new variant has appeared in Clark County, data released Wednesday shows.

The omicron BF.7 variant — also known as BA.5.2.1.7 — jumped up to 14.6% of the cases sequenced in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District. BF.7 accounted for only 2.5% of the cases the previous week.

National media reports indicate the variant spread in early October, but it had not made a significant appearance in Southern Nevada until this week, when SNHD detected it in seven of a total 48 cases that analyzed in DNA sequencing. BF.7 is currently causing a wave of cases in China.

The BF.7 variant is known as the most evasive strain of omicron, able to escape the antibodies from earlier illnesses or vaccinations better than the many other omicron sub-variants, according to two studies. The symptoms are about the same as illnesses associated with other omicron strains.

Clark County’s COVID-19 case levels dropped over the past week, according to the 14-day moving average (per 100,000 population) published by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. The average dropped to 117 cases per day in Clark County, a 7.1% decline over last week. Statewide, the average is at 151 cases per day, an 8.4% drop.

COVID-19 hospitalizations, however, continue to increase. In Clark County and statewide, levels have increased for three straight weeks. Hospitals count 164 patients with COVID-19 statewide, an increase of 23 from last week. In Clark County, the patient count increased by 16, now standing at 127 patients.

Nevada reported 15 COVID-19 deaths, with 10 from Clark County. A total of 9,030 people have died of COVID-19 in Clark County, and 11,570 statewide.

Wastewater surveillance was not updated this week.

Variations in week-to-week counts can exaggerate the seriousness of the problem when case numbers have dropped to their lowest points since early in the pandemic, but the numbers are a reminder that the virus is still present in the community. 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.

The SNHD’s report on variants shows the BA.5 variant is still prevalent, detected in 68.6% of COVID-19 cases. BF.7 — described at the top of this story — was found in 14.6% of Clark County’s cases that went through DNA sequencing.

CLARK COUNTY

  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 117 — down from 126 the previous week.
  • Total cases: 598,288*
  • Deaths: 10 since last week (total: 9,030)
  • Hospitalizations: 127 (up 16 from the previous week)
    *-A difference in case counts exists between SNHD and the state. By SNHD’s current count, Clark County has had 581,810 cases as of this week.

NEVADA

  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 151 — down from 165 the previous week.
  • Total cases: 788,288
  • Deaths: 15 since last week (total: 11,570)
  • Hospitalizations: 164 (up 23 from the previous week)

The county’s COVID-19 community level moved to “low” on Aug. 11, and has remained there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

See last week’s report here.