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NEW: COVID-19 test positivity rates, hospitalizations on decline in Clark County |

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NEW: COVID-19 test positivity rates, hospitalizations on decline in Clark County

Below is the full COVID-19 report for Jan. 21-23.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Another big increase in COVID-19 cases over the weekend -- 10,885 in Clark County and 14,027 statewide -- came as other signs indicate the virus is likely coming down from its peak.

Clark County's test positivity rate fell over the weekend, from 38.2% last week to 37.5% in data released today. Statewide, the rate fell from 35.5% to 35.3% -- the first decrease in over a month.

Reports on hospital patients also brought some good news, with drops that could signal a retreat from hospitalization numbers that were approaching records set more than a year ago. In Clark County, there were 37 fewer COVID-19 patients, with a total of 1,673. Statewide, the total fell by 8, dropping to 1962.

Of the 24 deaths reported statewide, 18 were reported in Clark County.

Reports on Mondays include data from Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

In a report on breakthrough cases, the Southern Nevada Health District said that the delta variant -- not omicron -- is responsible for 94% of all breakthrough cases. Omicron hasn't caused any hospitalizations or deaths, SNHD said, and it is causing only 1% of breakthrough cases to date.

The slower infection rate doesn’t mean the virus isn’t still circulating. The omicron variant is highly contagious, and vaccines have proven to reduce the chance of severe illness. Health officials emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated and wearing a mask indoors in public places.

Hospitals are 98% full in Clark County, according to a report last week from the Nevada Hospital Association (NHA). "Crisis" status for hospital staffing continues in the county and in rural Nevada as the omicron variant's spread continues.

About 43% of the patients hospitalized in Clark County are fully vaccinated, according to NHA.

The graphs below show the test positivity for the state (first image), followed by Clark County’s test positivity rate.

More than 49,500 tests were reported in the county, and more than 63,000 across Nevada. People can now begin ordering four COVID-19 home tests from the post office for free delivery (https://www.covidtests.gov/). At-home tests are not even counted in the state's figures.

Information from the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory indicates that 100% of the recently tested samples in Clark County were from the omicron variant. Omicron accounts for 99% of the recent cases across the state.

A look at current COVID-19 numbers:

CLARK COUNTY

  • New cases: 3,852 (weekend total: 10,885) (total: 458,151)
  • Deaths: 0 (weekend total: 18) (total: 6,733)
  • Test positivity rate: 37.5% (down from 38.2% last week)
  • Testing: 4,861,448 (+49543 from last week)
  • Hospitalizations: 1,673 (down 37 from last week)

NEVADA

  • New cases: weekend total: 14,027 (total: 601,133)
  • Deaths: weekend total: 24 (total: 8,760)
  • Test positivity rate: 35.3% (down from 35.5% last week)
  • Testing: 6,410,892 (+63,336 from last week)
  • Hospitalizations: 1,962 (down 8 from last week)

As of Jan. 20, the Southern Nevada Health District reports there are 282 breakthrough deaths (+12), 919 breakthrough hospitalizations (+23) and 50,443 breakthrough cases (+11,342). (Increases are compared to numbers reported on Jan. 13.) Breakthrough cases now account for almost 42% of all new COVID-19 cases.

SNHD notes that the delta variant accounts for 86% of all breakthrough deaths, 92% of breakthrough hospitalizations and 94% of breakthrough cases. Omicron hasn't caused any hospitalizations or deaths, SNHD said, and it is causing only 1% of breakthrough cases to date.

*NOTE: Daily lab data from DHHS and SNHD reports is updated every morning for the previous day.

TRACKING NV COUNTIES

The test positivity rate in Clark County is at 37.5%, which keeps the county back on the state's watch list for elevated transmission risk. The rate must be below 8% and a separate measure of the county's case rate -- currently "high" at 761.4 cases (per 100,000 population over the past seven days) -- needs to drop below 50 for two straight weeks before the mask mandate can end.

In today’s report, all of Nevada's 17 counties are flagged for high transmission.

Clark County’s case rate (4,408 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (37.5%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (670 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 4,160,133 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Jan. 23.

As of yesterday, 55.54% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 66.17% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 54.91% of its eligible residents are fully vaccinated.

A BREAKDOWN OF NEVADA HOSPITALIZATIONS

NOTE: The state is not updating hospitalization data on weekends or holidays.

According to the state’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), the number of hospitalized patients in Nevada was down (-8) since yesterday. The number of patients dropped by 37 in Clark County.

The current number of hospitalizations is 1,962 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 335 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 177 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13, 2020, with 2,025 patients.

The graphs below show hospitalizations in Nevada (first image) and in Clark County:

RECOVERY CASES IN SOUTHERN NEVADA

The number of people who have recovered from the virus in Southern Nevada continues to increase. The latest county update estimates a total of 408,851 recovered cases; that’s 89.2% of all reported cases in the county, according to SNHD’s latest report.

MITIGATION MEASURES IN NEVADA

Nevada reopened to 100% capacity on June 1 and social distancing guidelines lifted, helping the state return to mostly pre-pandemic times, with some exceptions.

The CDC reversed course on July 27, saying fully vaccinated Americans in areas with “substantial and high” transmission should wear masks indoors when in public as COVID-19 cases rise. Most of Nevada falls into those two risk categories.

Nevada said it would adopt the CDC’s guidance with the new mask guideline that went into effect at 12:01 a.m. on July 30. This overrides Clark County’s employee mask mandate, which went into effect in mid-July.

On Aug. 16, Gov. Sisolak signed a new directive that allows fully vaccinated attendees at large gatherings to remove their masks, but only if the venue chooses to require everyone in attendance to provide proof of vaccination. Those who have just one shot and are not “fully vaccinated” would still be allowed to attend, as would children under 12, but both would need to wear masks.

Masks still must be worn when required by federal, state, local, tribal, or territorial laws, rules and regulations, including local businesses and workplace guidance.

State approval for vaccinating children 5-11 years old was given on Nov. 3, with plans by the Southern Nevada Health District to begin vaccinations on Nov. 10. The Pfizer vaccine is the only vaccine approved for children at this time.

SEE ALSO: Previous day’s report