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NEW: Nevada passes 500K positive COVID tests; positivity rate hits 20.8% in Clark County |

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NEW: Nevada passes 500K positive COVID tests; positivity rate hits 20.8% in Clark County

Below is the full COVID-19 report for Jan. 4.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Nevada reached a half-million positive COVID-19 tests in data released today, but the true picture is probably bigger as testing efforts expand with the emergence of the omicron variant.

The state reported 2,779 new cases today for a total of 502,392. Clark County had 2,270 new cases, with a total now at 3281,724.

At-home tests are not even counted in the state's figures.

Cases have been growing rapidly since Christmas, with more 28,369 cases added in less than two weeks. The recent growth has been concentrated in Clark County, with 24,759 of the cases -- about 87% of the state's total.

Clark County's test positivity rate has surged to 20.8%, up from 17.7% the previous day. Nevada's test positivity climbed to 18.5%, up from 15.8% the previous day.

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

Clark County reported 13 deaths. Nevada reported a total of 20 deaths.

The omicron variant now accounts for 35% of all cases in Clark County, according to data from the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory. Omicron has grown faster in Washoe County, where 43% of all cases are the fast-spreading omicron variant.

A look at current COVID-19 numbers:

CLARK COUNTY

  • New cases: 2,270 (total: 381,724)
  • Deaths: 13 (total: 6,512)
  • Test positivity rate: 20.8%% (up from 17.7% yesterday)
  • Hospitalizations: 1,058 (+105 from yesterday)

NEVADA

  • New cases: 2,779 (total: 502,392)
  • Deaths: 20 (total: 8,488)
  • Test positivity rate: 18.5% (up from 15.8% yesterday)
  • Hospitalizations: 1,184 (+119 from yesterday)

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. A rating above 100 cases per 100,000 individuals or higher is considered "high" transmission risk, while 50-99.99 per 100,000 is considered "substantial" by the CDC. The county must reach "moderate" for two full weeks.

Test positivity in Clark County is at 20.8%, up from 17.7% the previous day. The current case rate for Clark County is “high” at 750.1, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

Nevada’s test positivity rate is at 18.5%, up from 15.8% the previous day. It fell below 5.0%, the World Health Organization’s goal, on May 17 and climbed above it on June 28.

Of the 20 additional COVID-19-related deaths reported in Nevada, 13 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 6,512 of the state’s 8,488 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is at 5 deaths per day.

As of Dec. 29, the Southern Nevada Health District reports there are 249 breakthrough deaths (+3), 845 breakthrough hospitalizations (+15) and 19,501 breakthrough cases (+2,762). (Increases are compared to numbers reported on Dec. 22.)

As of yesterday, a total of 5,997,075 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 18,663 from the previous day. The number of tests reported has gone up as more employers require employees to be vaccinated or go through weekly testing.

*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 risen to 20.8%, which puts 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 750.1 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, 10 of Nevada's 17 counties are flagged for high transmission.

Clark County’s case rate (1,541 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (20.8%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (342 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 3,997,797 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Jan. 4.

As of today, 54.67% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 64.73% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 53.99% 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 up (+119) since the previous day.

The current number of hospitalizations is 1,184 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 194 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 116 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13 with 2,025 patients.

A weekly update from the Nevada Hospital Association reports that hospitalizations are increasing in Clark and Washoe counties. The delta variant remains dominant across the state, but omicron is growing fast.

"Nevada's hospital infrastructure remains in a steady state for the third consecutive week. Sixteen short-term acute care hospitals continue to report severe staffing shortages. COVID-19 accounts for approximately 15% of all hospitalized patients and 17% of ICU patients. Hospital occupancy rates are approximately 77%, with local variation throughout the state," according to NHA.

"Inventories of PPE, equipment, and supplies remain good. Supply-chain concerns resulting from intermittent lockdowns in southeast Asia will keep supplies in a watch status for much of 2022; however, we do not appreciate widespread shortages of medical materials within Nevada at this time," NHA said.

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

RECOVERY CASES IN SOUTHERN NEVADA

NOT YET UPDATED ON TUESDAY: The number of people who have recovered from the virus in Southern Nevada continues to increase. The latest county update estimates a total of 345,891 recovered cases; that’s 90.6% 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