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Nevada surpasses 10K total COVID-19 deaths

Nevada this week crossed a major milestone in the COVID-19 pandemic, more than two years after the virus first caused shutdowns and restrictions around the world — 10,000 deaths.

The state reported 82 deaths over the preceding week, with data updated through Monday. That increase was reported despite the 14-day moving average of daily deaths dropping from four to three. Divided by seven, the number of deaths reported over the last week represent an average of over 11 per day — well above the daily number on the dashboard.

State officials have often said that total death numbers do not necessarily represent the time that a person died. Hospitals may report a large number of deaths to the state at one time, regardless of when the people actually died. Still, it’s difficult to know based on the data reported how many deaths actually occurred in the last week.

This month, the state began reporting COVID-19 data only once a week, instead of daily as it had for the entire pandemic. The state Department of Health and Human Services’ dashboard also is no longer reporting some statistics, like test positivity rate.

The state also reported 955 new cases over the preceding week. That brought cumulative totals to 657,134 cases and 10,031 deaths. The 14-day moving average of daily new cases dropped by 13, to 96, still below the number of new cases divided by seven.

As of this week, state data showed that 192 people were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Nevada, an increase of five from the previous week.

“COVID-19 is not negatively impacting hospital capacity or capabilities at this time,” the Nevada Hospital Association said in its weekly release on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Clark County reported 622 new cases and 46 deaths over the preceding week, bringing totals posted by the Southern Nevada Health District to 495,159 cases and 7,739 deaths.

New cases were still above the two-week moving average, which dropped from 77 to 70. The two-week moving average of daily deaths dropped from three to two.

The Southern Nevada Health District also announced Wednesday that it had partnered with UNLV to launch a wastewater detection dashboard. As of Wednesday, the most recent data from earlier this month showed mixed signals throughout the county.

“As we move into the next stage of our response to COVID-19, wastewater surveillance is going to be a powerful tool for detecting potential surges in new cases or the presence of new variants in our community,” said Cassius Lockett, director of disease surveillance’s and control for the health district. “We will be able to alert the public in a timelier manner and support public health mitigation measures that can help slow the spread of the virus.”

The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the county increased by 14, to 170.

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.

As of this week, state data showed that 56.87 percent of Nevadans five and older are fully vaccinated, compared with 56.23 percent in Clark County.

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

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