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NEW: COVID-19 test positivity rate falling; cases top 3,000 in Clark County School District |

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NEW: COVID-19 test positivity rate falling; cases top 3,000 in Clark County School District

Below is the full COVID-19 report for Thursday, Sept. 23

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- COVID-19 test positivity rates dropped statewide and in Clark County in data released today, and hospitalizations fell sharply.

The state reports a 10.9% test positivity rate, down from 11.1% yesterday, and Clark County reports 8.4%, down from 8.6%. The declining test positivity rate is a good sign that the virus is not spreading as fast as it was six weeks ago, when the rate reached 16.3% statewide.

Nevada continues to report more than 1,000 cases, only dropping below that mark twice since July 21.

There were 1,072 cases reported statewide, and 564 in Clark County. The county's share of COVID-19 cases has been lower over the past several weeks, coming in at 52% of the state's total. Historically, Clark County has reported 76% of the state's cases.

Nevada reported 32 deaths, with 14 from Clark County.

Hospitalizations statewide dropped again to 922, down from 961 yesterday.

Also today, the Clark County School District passed the 3,000 mark for COVID-19 cases -- 1,969 involving students, 835 among teachers and staff, and 204 involving central staff. Durango High School has had 50 cases, the highest of any high school in the valley. Ten Clark County high schools have reported 30 or more cases.

The case count has grown by about 1,000 since Sept. 8, when CCSD passed the 2,000 mark.

Nevada continues to be labeled a place with high COVID-19 transmission and Clark County remains “an area of concern,” according to an updated White House report. The county was first labeled a “sustained hot spot” on July 5.

READ: WHITE HOUSE COVID-19 REPORT FOR SEPT. 23Download

Almost all of Nevada is labeled as a “high transmission” area. The CDC is using cases per 100,000 over the past seven days to determine high transmission.

There are 135.2 new cases reported per 100,000 every seven days in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

A BREAKDOWN OF CASES, DEATHS AND TESTING

Nevada’s case count grew by 1,072 in the past day, 564 in Clark County -- 52% of the state total. The state’s total cases are now at 416,496. Clark County has a total of 317,520. It’s important to note that the state no longer updates the dashboard on the weekend or holidays, which may be why Monday and Tuesday reports show higher case and death totals.

You can find this data under the “Current Status — Confirmed Cases” tab of the DHHS dashboard

Nevada’s test positivity rate is at 10.9%, down from 11.1% yesterday. It fell below 5.0%, the World Health Organization’s goal, on May 17 and climbed above it on June 28. Clark County’s rate has fallen to 8.4%, down from 8.6% yesterday.

Of the 32 additional COVID-19-related deaths, 14 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 5,559 of the state’s 7,015 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is 14 deaths per day.

As of Sept. 16, the health district reports there are 137 breakthrough deaths, 425 breakthrough hospitalizations and 9,080 breakthrough cases.

As of yesterday, a total of 4,310,870 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 9,430 since yesterday.

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

TRACKING NV COUNTIES

July 6 was the first time since March 3 that Clark County had been flagged for elevated disease transmission (A county is flagged for elevated disease transmission if it meets two or three of the above criteria). In today’s report, Clark remains flagged, along with Carson City, Churchill, Douglas, Elko, Esmeralda, Eureka, Humboldt, Lander, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye, Pershing, Storey, and Washoe counties.

Clark County’s case rate (640 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (8.4%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (326 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 3,060,620 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Sept. 23. 

As of today, more than 54% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 64% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 54% 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 (-39) since yesterday.

The current number of hospitalizations is 922 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 233 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 128 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13 with 2,025 cases.

In the Nevada Hospitalization's most recent report, a staffing alert remains statewide, placing limits on patient transfers and the ability to admit patients.

Most other concerns in the report are focused on medical facilities in Northern Nevada.

NHA notes continued pressure on hospitals in Northern Nevada, along with warnings in three categories: percentage of patients with COVID, hospital occupancy rates and ICU occupancy rates.

"During the past few months, staffed beds within Washoe County have contracted from 1,782 total beds (8/8/2021) to 1,320 staffed beds (9/21)," according to the report. "Staffed intensive care beds in Washoe County have been reduced from 233 (8/8) to 166 (9/21). Rural hospitals are also experiencing staffing shortfalls as larger facilities, and travel staffing agencies poach nurses. Similar issues are also being felt in the south."

You can find this data under the “Current Status — Hospitalizations” tab of the DHHS dashboard

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 301,113 recovered cases; that’s 94.8% of all reported cases in the county, according to SNHD’s latest report.

The health district provides a daily map with the number of positive tests in each ZIP code in Clark County.

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.

SEE ALSO: Previous day’s report