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Clark County COVID case average declines, hospitalizations increase

On the final day of daily COVID-19 updates from state officials, Clark County added another 369 new cases and 20 deaths.

Friday marked the last day the Department of Health and Human Services would update the state dashboard every week day, as they had done since the start of the pandemic more than tw0 years ago.

Clark County recorded 491,021 cases of coronavirus and 7,653 deaths as of Friday.

The two-week average of daily new cases followed a recent steady decline, decreasing from 91 Thursday to an average of 87 Friday.

The 14-day average daily death rate did not move, remaining at four deaths on average per day.

Hospitalizations rose by 13, to 216 people with confirmed or suspect COVID-19 in Clark County hospitals, according to state data.

The daily positivity rate fell by 0.2 percentage points to 4.8 percent.

Nevada’s data mirrored county data in the decline of average cases and test positivity, and an increase in hospitalizations.

The state reported only 331 new cases, lower than Clark County’s increase, which brought the state total to 648,996 cases since the pandemic began.

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 are considered better indicators.

The state reported a declining daily new case rate, which now sat at a two-week average of 122, while the average daily deaths did not move from Thursday when it was reported at 6.

The daily positivity rate declined to 5.1 percent but hospitalizations increased by 11 to 258 people statewide.

Ninety-seven more deaths were reported, inching the state total closer to a daunting 10,000 deaths. As of Friday 9,992 people died of COVID-19 in Nevada.

The county and state have repeatedly reported a significantly higher number of deaths each day than the daily average suggests. That means looking at the number of deaths reported over a specific period of time is misleading, because public health officials have said the date a death is reported is not necessarily the date the death occurred.

On Thursday, state officials announced the dashboard would only be updated on a weekly basis, every Wednesday beginning next week, and certain metrics commonly used to track the pandemic would be removed.

For one, the state will no longer report test positivity rate, because at-home test kits have made the data obsolete. State officials believe that the reported test positivity rate is higher than it should be, as people who seek tests tend to be those who are already experiencing symptoms and are more likely to test positive.

During Thursday’s announcement, state biostatistician Kyra Morgan said she now considers coronavirus an endemic in Nevada.

“By definition that means that it will still persist in our communities at some level, it just means that within that we have the tools that we need to contain it to where it’s not causing severe strain on our health care systems,” Morgan said Thursday.

As of Friday, 56.77 percent of Nevadans over the age of five were fully vaccinated. In Clark County, 56.14 percent of residents over five were fully vaccinated.

Contact Sabrina Schnur at sschnur@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0278. Follow @sabrina_schnur on Twitter.

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