Nevada and Clark County registered improvements in key COVID-19 metrics, according to data posted Thursday, reporting figures for new cases and deaths that were below recent averages and registering the first decline in the state infection or positivity rate in 29 days.
Figures posted on the Department of Health and Human Service’s nvhealthresponse.nv.gov website showed 729 new cases of COVID-19 were reported over the preceding day along with 10 additional deaths. That raised the case total for the state to 53,557 and the death toll to 900. (Reports from local health districts and counties place the case total somewhat higher, at 53,694 as of Thursday evening.)
New cases and fatalities announced by the state were both well below their respective daily averages for the preceding week of just over 1,003 and nearly 16.
The number of hospitalized confirmed and suspected COVID-19 patients also declined by 31 over the preceding day to a total of 1,117, the data indicates.
In another positive sign, the state’s infection or positivity rate declined for the first time in 29 days to 10.72 percent.
The rate, considered a better barometer of the trend of the outbreak than daily case and death reports, declined for more than two months before bottoming out at 5.20 percent on June 17. Thursday’s report was only the second time since then that the rate ticked lower, by .08 percent.
(Note: The Review-Journal calculates the rate by dividing confirmed cases by the number of people tested. On Aug. 4, the state began calculating the rate using a different formula — positive tests divided by tests administered —creating a discrepancy in the daily figures.)
The rate could have been impacted by a major surge in testing, as the state reported a record 16,369 tests conducted over the preceding day. State officials had previously indicated they were working with a vendor on a data reporting issue regarding testing, which could account for the record number.
Data for Clark County posted by the Southern Nevada Health District also was mostly improved, with 622 new COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths recorded over the preceding day.
New figures posted on the district’s coronavirus webpage increased the case total for the county to 46,185 and the death toll to 751.
New cases were well below the daily average of more than 888 over the preceding week, and fatalities were well below the daily average of 14 over the period.
But the district’s report also showed 75 additional hospitalized COVID-19 patients over the preceding day, well above the daily average of just over 22 for the preceding week. A spokeswoman for the health district said the report may have included some delayed data, though she could not confirm that it did.
An earlier version of this article incorrectly described the formula for calculating the state’s infection or positivity rate.