NEW: Nevada’s test positivity rate plunges, but COVID-19 cases remain high

Coronavirus

Below is the full COVID-19 report for the weekend of Sept. 10-12

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A big drop in Nevada’s COVID-19 test positivity rate is a good sign after several days when the rate barely moved.

The state’s test positivity rate dropped from 12.2% to 11.3% in data released today. Clark County is likely the driving force behind that drop, reporting a drop from 10.1% to 8.8%.

The rate dropped in a surge of testing reported today — more than 55,000 tests.

But cases remain relatively high. Nevada reports a three-day total of 2,950 new COVID-19 cases, with 1,938 from Clark County.

Nevada’s 26 deaths included 19 from Clark County.

Nevada continues to be labeled a place with high COVID-19 transmission and Clark County remains “an area of concern,” according to an updated White House report. The county was first labeled a “sustained hot spot” on July 5.

Almost all of Nevada is labeled as a “high transmission” area, and it is now one of 39 listed as high transmission states. The CDC is using cases per 100,000 over the past seven days to determine high transmission.

There are 165.1 new cases reported per 100,000 every seven days in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

A BREAKDOWN OF CASES, DEATHS AND TESTING

Nevada’s case count grew by 2,950 over the past day, 1,938 in Clark County — about 65% of the state total. The state’s total cases are now at 404,851. Clark County has a total of 311,915. It’s important to note that the state no longer updates the dashboard on the weekend or holidays, which may be why Monday and Tuesday reports show higher case and death totals.

You can find this data under the “Current Status — Hospitalizations” tab of the DHHS dashboard

Nevada’s test positivity rate is at 11.3%, down from 12.2% on Friday. It fell below 5.0%, the World Health Organization’s goal, on May 17 and climbed above it on June 28. Clark County’s rate has fallen to 8.8%, down from 10.1% reported Friday.

Of the 26 additional COVID-19-related deaths, 19 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 5,358 of the state’s 6,728 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is 9 deaths per day.

As of Sept. 2, the health district reports there are 112 breakthrough deaths.

As of yesterday, a total of 4,196,553 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 55,229 over the weekend.

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

TRACKING NV COUNTIES

July 6 was the first time since March 3 that Clark County had been flagged for elevated disease transmission (A county is flagged for elevated disease transmission if it meets two or three of the above criteria). In today’s report, Clark remains flagged, along with Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Storey, and Washoe counties.

Clark County’s case rate (737 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (8.8%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (341 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 2,998,650 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Sept. 12. 

As of today, more than 53% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 63% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 52% 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) over the weekend.

The current number of hospitalizations is 1,120 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 248 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 172 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13 with 2,025 cases.

In the Nevada Hospitalization’s most recent report, staffing alerts are in place for all Nevada medical facilities. That’s just one step below “crisis” level.

“Staffing has been elevated to an alert and, as we are on the verge of flu season, hospitals have limited ability to deal with a surge of patients (all-cause). Augmentation staffing in the form of traveling nurses is essentially nonexistent at this time,” according to the report.

NHA sets “alert” status when “immediate mitigation methods are required to keep the hospital system operational.”

COVID-19 hospitalizations are climbing in Northern Nevada and rural areas.

“COVID-19 hospitalizations represent upwards of 20-25% of all patients hospitalized in the northern and rural areas with some variation by the facilities. The overwhelming majority of these patients are unvaccinated, driving some hospitals to publish pleas within their neighborhoods and communities to get vaccinated,” according to NHA.

NHA says staffing shortages are resulting in ambulance delays at hospitals, difficulties discharging or placing patients in a skilled nursing facility, and delayed or canceled procedures.

You can find this data under the “Current Status — Hospitalizations” tab of the DHHS dashboard

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 293,044 recovered cases; that’s 94.5% 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.

SEE ALSO: Previous day’s report

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