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COVID-19 deaths tick higher in Clark County; 2 other metrics improve

Updated October 12, 2021 - 4:42 pm

New COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations in Clark County extended their recent declines Tuesdays, but deaths ticked higher, continuing a flattening of the metric that began last week.

Clark County recorded 452 new COVID-19 cases and 16 deaths during the preceding day, according to data posted Tuesday by state and local public health agencies.

Updated figures from the Southern Nevada Health District pushed totals for the county to 325,487 cases of COVID-19 and 5,781 deaths.

New cases were well above the 14-day moving average of 356 per day, while the average declined by 25 cases from the day prior, according to state data.

Fatalities were more than double the 14-day average of seven per day, while the average rose by one from Monday’s report. The metric is now one death per day higher than it was a week ago.

State and county health agencies often redistribute 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.

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 7.0 percent. The rate had risen in the prior two daily updates, but remains less than half of its recent high of 15.7 percent on Aug. 8, state data show.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

A total of 557 confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients were occupying beds at county hospitals as of Tuesday’s report, down from 581 the prior day.

All four of the county’s major COVID-19 metrics have been improving since mid- to late-August, but have not yet reached the thresholds set for the lifting of Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak’s face mask mandate.

But the county is expected to hit a milestone on the road to removing the mandate, after recording back-to-back weeks with a positivity rate of 8.0 percent or lower as calculated using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s preferred seven-day moving average. As of Friday, the most recent data available from the CDC, Clark County’s positivity rate stood at 7.45 percent, which is classified as “moderate” transmission risk under the CDC guidelines.

If certified at a weekly meeting of state public health officials on Wednesday, the county will be halfway to meeting the criteria to lift the mandate. To do so it must also record a seven-day average of fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents in back-to-back weeks. As of Friday, the county’s rate stood at 120.04 cases per 100,000, down more than 20 cases per day from the prior week but still considered “high” transmission risk by the CDC.

The state Department of Health and Human Services, meanwhile, on Tuesday reported 891 new COVID-19 cases and 30 deaths over the preceding day.

The updated figures posted on the state’s coronavirus website pushed totals to 428,934 cases and 7,345 deaths.

New cases were well above the 14-day moving average of 559 per day, while the average itself dropped by 53 from the 612 reported on Monday.

Deaths were far above the 14-day average of 11, which was up one from Monday’s report.

Remembering Nevadans lost to COVID-19

The state’s positivity rate continued its nearly two-month decline, shedding another 0.1 percentage point to 8.2 percent.

Hospitalizations of confirmed and suspected COVID-19 cases declined by 20 from the preceding day’s report to 758.

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

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