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NEW: 38 deaths, nearly 1,300 cases as rural counties show COVID's effects |

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NEW: 38 deaths, nearly 1,300 cases as rural counties show COVID's effects

Below is the full COVID-19 report for Monday, Sept. 20

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- Nearly 1,300 new COVID-19 cases were reported in data released today, with more signs that the virus continues to spread in rural counties.

Nevada reports 1,287 new cases -- but just 476 from Clark County, about 38% of the total cases statewide.

Of the state's 38 deaths, 19 were reported in Clark County, which typically has a larger share of the total. The state's average of daily deaths is at 12, showing that there is a significant lag in reporting deaths that occurred weeks ago. When those deaths are reported, the date of death often falls outside the time period the state uses to calculate the average.

Test positivity rates are going in opposite directions, as Nevada reports 11.3%, up slightly from yesterday's 11.2%. Clark County's test positivity dropped slightly, from 8.8% to 8.7%.

White Pine County is the only county in Nevada that isn't currently flagged for elevated transmission risk under the state's COVID-19 standards.

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. 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.

There are 132.9 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 1,230 over the weekend, 476 in Clark County -- 38% of the state total. The state’s total cases are now at 413,547. Clark County has a total of 316,045. 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 11.3%, up from 11.2% 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 8.7%, down from 8.8% yesterday.

Of the 38 additional COVID-19-related deaths, 19 were from Clark County. Southern Nevada now accounts for 5,496 of the state’s 6,918 deaths. The 14-day rolling average is 12 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 4,282,194 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 7,885 since over the weekend. Testing numbers have risen in recent weeks as workplaces require employees to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test.

*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 (664 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (8.7%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (327 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.

VACCINATION UPDATE

The state’s health department reports 3,044,665 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Sept. 20. 

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 53% 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 (+3) since yesterday.

The current number of hospitalizations is 1,007 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 226 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 143 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, the decline in hospitalizations is "entirely driven by slowing hospitalizations within Clark County."

Emergency rooms statewide are overcrowded, and are being inundated by people seeking rapid COVID-19 tests to return to work or school.

"The NHA is now encouraging everyone to avoid hospital emergency rooms for COVID-19 testing and instead visit one of the many other available options," according to the report.

Staffing alerts remain in place for all Nevada medical facilities. That's just one step below "crisis" level.

"Rural Nevada has reached a record high number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients. The majority of these patients are unvaccinated. The number may be skewed from previous waves because rural facilities are experiencing difficulty transferring patients to urban medical centers for intensive care."

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 299,097 recovered cases; that’s 94.6% 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