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COVID-19 metrics in Clark County keep rising, CDC level upgraded

Updated June 2, 2022 - 8:26 pm

Clark County reported another increase to its COVID-19 metrics on Wednesday, as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention upgraded the county’s community level from low to medium.

The CDC community level — a metric determined by case rate and hospitalization levels — had been at the low level for months.

The county’s seven-day case rate per 100,000 people increased to 217.01 from 154.63 last week, continuing a recent trend as a new wave of the virus sweeps through Southern Nevada. The county’s seven-day test positivity rate also increased, to 25.46 percent from 21.8 percent, according to the CDC.

Most metrics have been rising for months. The state Department of Health and Human Services stopped reporting daily numbers in March, and the uptick started shortly thereafter. The two-week moving average of daily new cases for the county was 611 on Wednesday, up from 491 in last week’s report and well above the numbers reported a few months ago, when it had dipped below 100.

The department and the Southern Nevada Health District continued to report a different number of cumulative cases for the county, a discrepancy that was previously attributed to reinfection numbers and delayed reporting.

One metric that has not increased significantly is deaths. The two-week moving average of daily fatalities for both the state and county held at one in Wednesday’s report.

Hospitalizations, though, did increase. The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the county increased to 230 from 191.

“Continued resurgence, primarily in the south, results in an increased number of COVID-19 hospitalizations,” the Nevada Hospital Association said in its weekly release. “Some hospitals are forced to ration CT contrast dye and postpone surgeries.”

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. That has been clear in recent weeks, especially with death reporting. State agencies have reported a high number of deaths each week, even when the majority of those came weeks or months earlier and are only being reported now.

Meanwhile, new data from the department showed a total of 684,257 cases and 10,896 deaths since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.

State numbers also increased, with the two-week moving average of daily new cases jumping to 761 from 610.

Hospitalizations also increased, to 273 from 218.

According to the CDC’s community transmission rate — which can be low, moderate, substantial or high — most of Nevada was in the highest tier.

That metric, which is different than the CDC community level, is designated by either a case rate per 100,000 people over 100 or a test positivity rate over 10 percent.

Lincoln County and Esmeralda County were in the low tier, Humboldt and Storey counties were in the moderate tier, and Eureka and Lander counties were in the substantial tier.

As of Wednesday, state data showed that 57.44 percent of Nevadans 5 or older were considered fully vaccinated, compared with 56.78 percent in Clark County.

Contact Jonah Dylan at jdylan@reviewjournal.com. Follow @TheJonahDylan on Twitter.

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