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Clark County returns to ‘high’ risk of COVID-19 transmission

Updated November 2, 2021 - 3:51 pm

Clark County returned to the “high” risk of COVID-19 transmission on Tuesday, a day after it dropped into the “substantial” category on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s classification system.

Updated figures posted on the CDC’s COVID data tracker website showed the county’s seven-day moving average of new cases of the disease at 119.91 per 100,000 residents, a substantial jump from the 92.69 cases per 100,000 reported on Monday.

A rating of 100 cases per 100,000 individuals or higher places a county in the high-transmission risk category, while 50 through 99.99 per 100,000 is considered a substantial risk under the CDC framework.

Despite occasional fluctuations, all of the county’s four main COVID-19 metrics have been declining since mid- to late-August, prompting the CDC on Monday to lower the county from “high” to “substantial” risk of transmission for the first time since the state imposed a face mask mandate tied to the federal ratings on July 27.

To exit the state mask mandate for crowded indoor public spaces, the county must record back-to-back weeks with a test positivity rate below 8 percent — a condition it already has exceeded — and new case levels of 50 per 100,000 residents or lower.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

Nevada Health Response, the state body charged with the state’s response to the pandemic, noted Tuesday in its weekly guidance on the mask mandate that Clark County was the only Nevada county not listed in the high risk category as of Monday.

That means Esmeralda County, which dipped into the CDC’s “low” risk category last month and became the first Nevada county to exit the mask mandate, is at risk of having to reimplement it if it remains in the high tier for a second straight week.

The county’s return to the high risk category could be short-lived, as all four major metrics of the disease caused by the new coronavirus either declined or remained flat in Tuesday’s update from the Southern Nevada Health District.

The county reported 386 new COVID-19 cases and six deaths during the preceding day, pushing totals for the county to 333,046 cases of the disease and 5,983 deaths.

New cases were higher than the 14-day moving average, while the average declined by 12 cases per day to 309 after surging sharply in Monday’s report.

Fatalities were 50 percent higher than the 14-day average of four per day, which was unchanged from Monday.

The county’s test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, remained unchanged at 5.8 percent, according to state data.

Hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients in the county stood at 454, 11 fewer than reported Monday.

The state Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, reported 895 new COVID-19 cases and 12 deaths during the preceding day.

The updated figures increased state totals to 441,146 cases of the disease and 7,668 deaths.

New cases were far above the 14-day moving average of 481, while the average was down 24 cases per day from Monday’s report.

Fatalities were twice the 14-day average of six per day, which remained unchanged from Monday.

The state’s test positivity rate also was unchanged at 6.6 percent, while the number of hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients climbed by three from Monday’s report to 669.

The percentage of eligible Nevadans 12 and older who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19 inched higher to 56.43 percent, while in Clark County the rate stood at 55.69 percent.

Contact Mike Brunker at mbrunker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter.

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