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COVID hospitalizations continue to rise

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Clark County continued to rise for a second week in a row, according to according to data from the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services.

The majority of patients requiring hospitalization are unvaccinated and 70 or older, the Nevada Hospital Association said Wednesday.

The number of patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Clark County increased to 432 from last week’s 374. There were 533 hospitalizations statewide, also up from last week’s 455.

The hospital association said that the daily fluctuations were minor, and that patients requiring ICU level care or ventilators remained near all-time lows.

Globally, cases increased for the fourth consecutive week, after a brief decline from the last peak in March, according to the World Health Organization, an increase that was driven by the highly-transmissible and dominant omicron variant.

Last week, advisers for the Food and Drug Administration recommended updating the current COVID-19 booster shots to target the omicron variant.

Cases in Nevada were also up from last week, with the county’s two-week average of daily confirmed cases rising to 708 from 666 last week. The number of cases statewide also rose to 923 from 870.

As of Wednesday, there have been 720,384 total confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 11,074 deaths across Nevada, with 544,122 cases and 8,660 deaths in Clark County, according to state data.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced last month that Clark County was experiencing a high level of community spread of COVID-19, a CDC designation that is based on hospitalization and case numbers. Clark County’s designation remained high on Wednesday.

Federal and local health agencies have recommended wearing a mask in public, indoor settings in the wake of the designation, but despite federal facilities such as Nellis Air Force Base and Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area reinstituting mask mandates, state gaming regulators have said they won’t require masks in casinos unless directed to under an order from Gov. Steve Sisolak.

Vaccines began rolling out for children ages 6 months to 5 years old last month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children.

As of Wednesday, 57.6 percent of Nevadans 5 or older were fully vaccinated, compared with 57 percent in Clark County.

Contact Lorraine Longhi at 480-243-4086 or llonghi@reviewjournal.com. Follow her @lolonghi on Twitter.