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Clark County moves out of ‘high’ transmission rate for first time in months

Updated February 22, 2022 - 3:59 pm

For the first time in months, Clark County dropped out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s “high rate of transmission,” illustrating just how quickly the omicron-driven surge in the county has receded.

The county showed a 7-day case rate of 55.50 and a 7-day test positivity rate of 7.93 percent on Tuesday, according to CDC data. That was enough to drop the county into the “substantial” transmission rate.

For a county to hit the moderate rate of transmission, it must record back-to-back weeks with a seven-day average case rate under 50 per 100,000 residents and a seven-day test positivity rate below 8 percent. The state’s mask mandate had been tied to those metrics before it was rescinded on Feb. 10.

Clark County last dropped into the “substantial” tier on Nov. 1, when it appeared to be on the right track to exiting the mask mandate. But the omicron variant soon reared its head throughout the state and county, and numbers skyrocketed until about a month ago, when the surge started dissipating sharply.

Also on Tuesdya, the county reported 125 new cases over the preceding day. The totals posted by the Southern Nevada Health District stood at 486,576 cases and 7,371 total deaths on Tuesday. The county appeared to report 38 deaths over the weekend but none from Monday to Tuesday; the number of deaths often vary significantly from day to day and especially on Mondays and Tuesdays due to delayed weekend reporting.

The county’s 14-day average of daily new cases dropped again, from 335 on Friday to 251. Most metrics had not been updated since Friday because of the Presidents’ Day holiday. The 14-day moving average of daily deaths held steady at six.

There was also improvement in other long-term metrics. The county’s 14-day test positivity rate, which tracks the percentage of people tested who are found to be infected with COVID-19, dropped by 2.6 percentage points to 12.0 percent. The quick drop in that rate and the reduced demand for testing has led county officials to close most major COVID-19 testing sites in the area.

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 dropped from 551 on Friday to 436.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

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 frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

Meanwhile, the state reported 927 new cases and 46 deaths over the preceding four days, bringing totals posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services to 642,962 cases and 9,554 deaths.

The 14-day moving average of new cases fell from 532 on Friday to 385, while the 14-day average of daily fatalities dropped from 11 to eight.

Of the state’s other closely-watched metrics, the 14-day test positivity rate dropped 3.0 percentage points to 13.8 percent, while the number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-10 dropped to 568.

Other counties throughout the Silver State also showed improvement, according to CDC data.

Eureka County and Pershing County reached the “moderate” transmission rate, while Esmeralda County made it to the “low” transmission rate and has not shown any new cases in the last week. Lincoln County joined Clark County in the “substantial” rate, while all other counties remained in the “high” tier.

As of Tuesday, state data showed that 56.45 percent of Nevadans five and older were fully vaccinated, compared with 55.83 in Clark County.

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

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