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NEW: COVID-19 case rate nearly double what's needed to end mask mandate |

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NEW: COVID-19 case rate nearly double what's needed to end mask mandate

Below is the full COVID-19 report for Oct. 20.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Nevada's COVID-19 case rate is still far above what it needs to be for the mask mandate to end anytime soon.

So far, the state has met at least one of the goals for getting the mandate dropped. Its test positivity rate is below 8%. In data released today, the statewide rate is 7.3% and Clark County's is 6.4%. Both have been steadily declining in recent weeks.

However, the statewide and Clark County case rates remain above the second goal. The state is following the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance on the mask rule. The mandate will remain in place in each county until the following conditions are met:

  • The COVID-19 test positivity rate must be below 8%
  • The case rate (per 100,000 population over 7 days) must be below 50 for two full weeks.

The current case rate for Clark County (per 100,000 over 7 days) is 96.2.

Newly released information shows the case counts statewide grew by 653, with 405 of those cases reported by Clark County. Nevada reports 29 deaths, with 21 from Clark County.

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 OCT. 20Download

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.

A BREAKDOWN OF CASES, DEATHS AND TESTING

Nevada’s case count grew by 653 in the past day, with 405 in Clark County. The state’s total cases are now at 434,163. Clark County has a total of 328,623. 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.

Nevada’s test positivity rate is at 7.4%, down from 7.5% 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 is at 6.4%, down from 6.5% on Tuesday.

Of the 29 additional COVID-19-related deaths, 21 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 5,894 of the state’s 7,513 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is 10 deaths per day.

As of Sept. 30, the Southern Nevada Health District reports there are 158 breakthrough deaths, 482 breakthrough hospitalizations and 10,449 breakthrough cases. The county has not provided an update this month.

As of yesterday, a total of 5,162,239 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 19,172 since Monday.

*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 has dropped below 8%, which takes the county off the state's watch list for elevated transmission risk. If the county can sustain levels for test positivity and testing, state restrictions -- including mask requirements -- could be relaxed. A separate measure of the county's case rate -- currently 96.2 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, 15 of Nevada's 17 counties are still flagged for high transmission.

Clark County’s case rate (477 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) is flagged in data reported today. Test positivity rate (6.4%) and testing (347 tests per day per 100,000) are within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 3,232,563 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Oct. 20. 

As of today, 55% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and more than 64% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 55% 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 (-47) in the past day.

The current number of hospitalizations is 628 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 172 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 119 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13 with 2,025 cases.

The Nevada Hospital Association did not file a weekly COVID update last week. It was expected to return on Oct. 13, but no update has been provided.

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 313,077 recovered cases; that’s 95.3% 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