Clark County on Wednesday reported 385 new coronavirus cases and 20 deaths, but still appeared to be a ways off from hitting the criteria needed to exit Gov. Steve Sisolak’s mask mandate.
The county’s test positivity rate, which tracks the people tested for COVID-19 who are found to be infected, held steady at 7 percent. That translated to 7.33 percent using the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s preferred seven-day rate, which puts the county in a “moderate” transmission tier.
State and county officials track test positivity rate on a 14-day increment.
CDC data showed that Clark County had a case rate of 139.54 per 100,000 people, a slight increase from a week earlier but still significantly short of the number needed to exit the mask mandate.
To do that a county must record back-to-back weeks with a positivity rate of 8 percent or lower and record fewer than 50 new COVID-19 cases per 100,000 residents.
State officials Wednesday afternoon announced that all of Nevada will be required to mask up for at least the next week. Most of the state remains in the “high” transmission tier, with only Esmeralda County in the “low” tier and White Pine County in the “moderate” tier. If those counties remain at those levels for another week, the mask mandate will be lifted.
Lincoln County, which had gone over two weeks without a COVID-19 case and had been in the “low” tier, is now back in the “high” tier and will continue to be under a mask mandate.
Data guide: COVID-19’s impact on Nevada
The number of people hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in the county increased by one, jumping from 557 on Tuesday to 558, according to data from the state Department of Health and Human Services.
Other COVID-19 metrics for the county were mixed.
Updated figures posted by the Southern Nevada Health District pushed totals for the county to 325,872 cases and 5,801 deaths.
While new cases were again higher than the two-week moving average of 348 per day, the average itself continued its recent downward trend by dropping from 356 reported on Tuesday. The two-week moving average of fatalities in the county held steady at seven.
The state, meanwhile, reported 621 new COVID-19 cases and 22 deaths over the preceding day. That brought totals to 429,555 cases and 7,367 deaths.
Nevada’s 14-day moving average of new cases also declined, dropping to 541 per day from 559 on Tuesday. The two-week average for fatalities held at 11 per day.
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.
Of the state’s other closely watched metrics, the two-week test positivity rate declined 0.1 percentage points to 8.2 percent, while the number of people in Nevada hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases dropped to 748, 10 less than on Tuesday. That figure also has been falling since late August.
As of Wednesday’s report, state data show that 54.94 percent of Nevadans 12 and older had been fully vaccinated, compared with 54.18 percent in Clark County.