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Nevada’s key COVID-19 metrics show continued improvement

Updated February 12, 2021 - 7:30 pm

All major coronavirus indicators in Nevada trended lower over the past week, continuing an improvement in disease metrics that began in mid-January, state data shows.

On Friday, Nevada recorded 636 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 deaths over the preceding day, according to updated figures posted by the Department of Health and Human Services. That brought the cumulative totals for the state to 287,023 cases and 4,663 deaths attributed to the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

New cases were slightly above the 14-day moving average of 587 per day, while the fatalities were well above the moving average of 16 over the same period.

Nevada’s positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people who are tested for COVID-19 who are confirmed to have it, fell 0.5 percentage points to 13.8 percent. It was the 29th straight day the rate has declined after peaking at 21.7 percent on Jan. 13, according to the state data.

A look at data from the past week casts Friday’s report in a more favorable light.

Both the state’s 14-day moving average of daily cases and the two-week positivity rate decreased every day over the past seven days, according to records maintained by the Review-Journal.

And although the period had several days with high numbers of deaths, these, too, have been decreasing since mid-January.

Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada

The fourth major metric — hospitalizations of suspected or confirmed COVID-19 patients — also has continued to decline, reaching 847 as of Friday. Although hospitalizations can fluctuate day to day, the total has been trending downward since late December.

The Southern Nevada Health District on Thursday announced that a seventh case of a more contagious coronavirus variant was found in Clark County. Until the current case, the B.1.1.7 variant first discovered in the U.K. had only been detected in six people with close contact to each other, while the current case has not been linked to the previous reports, the health district said.

Julia Peek, the deputy administrator of the state health department, said Friday at a news briefing that officials are keeping a close eye on the presence of the strain in the state.

“We’re watching it really closely,” she said. “(We are) making sure that we prioritize these investigations to understand some of the risk factors associated with the variant.”

Peek urged people to continue to get vaccinated when it’s their turn, as vaccinations will help prevent the virus from mutating. Nevadans should also follow health measures such as the CDC’s recent recommendation of double masking to prevent spreading the variant.

Clark County, meanwhile, recorded 505 new COVID-19 cases and 23 additional deaths over the previous day, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The updated figures brought the cumulative totals for the county to 221,215 cases and 3,600 deaths.

The positivity rate for Clark County also declined by 0.5 percentage points to 15.1 percent, 1.3 percent higher than the state as a whole.

Contact Mike Brunker at mbrunker@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter. Contact Katelyn Newberg at knewberg@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.

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