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New COVID-19 cases, fatalities continue to top 2-week averages

Updated May 5, 2021 - 4:37 pm

Nevada on Wednesday reported 373 new coronavirus cases and seven additional deaths over the preceding day, both well above the recent averages for both metrics.

Updated figures posted on the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website brought totals in the state to 317,088 cases and 5,487 deaths since the pandemic began.

All of the fatalities recorded on Wednesday occurred in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District’s coronavirus website.

New cases were well above the 14-day moving average of daily reported cases, which dropped to 248 on Wednesday. Reported fatalities were also higher than the moving average of three per day during the same time 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.

The state’s two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, remained at 5.7 percent on Wednesday. Although the state no longer reports data over weekends, the positivity rate has remained at that level since April 26, according to records maintained by the Review-Journal.

Health officials have said that as county’s loosen mitigation measures, they expect to see an increase in cases. But that increase could be offset by vaccination rates.

Vaccination rates increased after all Nevadans 16 and older became eligible for the shots last month, but have since fallen after the initial spike. State health official Karissa Loper said Wednesday that officials anticipated the drop-off and are now focusing on providing more convenient options for vaccinations.

As of Wednesday, about 46 percent of Nevadans 16 and older have had at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, which Loper said is a higher percentage than for “most flu season years” in the state.

“I think we’re doing a really great job, and Nevadans have been very receptive to the COVID-19 vaccine,” she said.

Meanwhile, Clark County this week has pushed for higher vaccination rates for those 16 to 25 years old. The county plans to lift all occupancy limits and social distancing requirements once 60 percent of eligible residents have at least one shot.

State data on Wednesday showed 45.7 percent of Nevadans in Clark County who are 16 and older have had at least one dose.

As of Wednesday’s report, the number of people hospitalized in Nevada with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases remained unchanged at 388.

Clark County on Wednesday reported 324 new coronavirus cases, according to the health district.

Cumulative totals in the county rose to 245,358 cases and 4,322 deaths.

The county’s positivity rate remained stagnant on Wednesday, matching the state’s metric at 5.7 percent.

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

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