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Nevada COVID-19 positivity rate ticks lower, but new cases stay high

Nevada’s two-week coronavirus positivity rate declined to 5.6 percent on Thursday, ticking lower for the first time in more than a week, according to state data.

The two-week moving positivity rate, which which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, decreased by 0.1 percentage point, according to updated figures posted by the Department of Health and Human Services.

It was the first change in the metric since April 26, according to records maintained by the Review-Journal, although the state no longer reports data over the weekend.

The rate had been declining steadily for about three months until April, when it rose from 4.2 percent to 5.9 percent by the third week of the month. It has retreated 0.3 percentage point since but has remained mostly stagnant.

The state also reported 394 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, along with three additional deaths.

Totals in the state rose to 317,482 cases and 5,490 deaths since the pandemic began.

New cases reported on Thursday remained higher than the 14-day moving average of daily recorded cases, which dropped slightly to 247. The newly reported deaths, however, matched the average daily fatalities recorded over the same period.

The moving averages for new cases and deaths started climbing in April but retreated a bit at the end of the month, a trend that has continued into May, the state data show.

State and county health agencies often redistribute the daily data after it is reported to better reflect the date of death or onset of symptoms, which is why the moving-average trend lines frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

As of Thursday’s report, 324 people in Nevada were hospitalized with suspected or confirmed COVID-19 cases, 64 fewer than the previous day.

Clark County on Thursday reported 335 new cases and one additional death, according to updated figures posted to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

Cumulative totals for the county rose to 245,693 cases and 4,323 deaths.

Clark County’s two-week positivity rate also declined by 0.1 percentage point, continuing to match the state’s average at 5.6 percent.

Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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