by: Greg Haas
Below is the full COVID-19 report for Jan. 11.
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Clark County reports 4,946 new COVID-19 cases, its second-highest daily total for the pandemic.
Test positivity keeps rising, now at 33.4% for the county — one of every three COVID-19 tests are now coming back positive as the omicron variant spreads rapidly. Nevada’s test positivity hit 30.5% in data released today. Those rates are at pandemic record levels for both Clark County and the state.
Hospitals are operating at “crisis” staffing conditions for the second-straight week, according to the Nevada Hospital Association. The number of patients in intensive care units is increasing so fast in Clark County that a “warning” status has been declared by NHA.
The number of COVID-19 patients went up by 39 statewide and 29 in Clark County. Patient loads have doubled in the past two weeks.
Nevada reported 23 deaths, with 17 of those in Clark County.
The graphs below show the test positivity for the state (first image), followed by Clark County’s test positivity rate.
Information from the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory indicates that all of the recently tested samples in Clark County were from the omicron variant.
Clark County’s previous high for COVID-19 cases reported for a single day was 6,110, announced on Jan. 8 by the Southern Nevada Health District. The report for Jan. 9 showed 4,925 cases, the pandemic’s third-highest.
The current surge in cases during the spread of the omicron variant has led to a five-day “Stop the Spread” pause for Clark County schools. No classes will be held Friday and Tuesday on either side of the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday.
Testing continues at high levels, with nearly 25,000 test results reported in today’s data.
At-home tests are not even counted in the state’s figures.
Over the course of the pandemic, deaths have spiked in the weeks following spikes in case numbers, but it’s possible that the omicron variant will not have the same deadly toll. Health officials continue to emphasize the importance of getting vaccinated because it reduces the likelihood of severe illness.
A look at current COVID-19 numbers:
As of Jan. 6, the Southern Nevada Health District reports there are 261 breakthrough deaths (+12), 873 breakthrough hospitalizations (+28) and 19,501 breakthrough cases (+7,704). (Increases are compared to numbers reported on Dec. 29.) Breakthrough cases now account for almost 40% of all new COVID-19 cases.
As of yesterday, a total of 6,147,990 COVID-19 tests have been conducted in Nevada, with an increase of 24,452 from the previous day.
*NOTE: Daily lab data from DHHS and SNHD reports is updated every morning for the previous day.
The test positivity rate in Clark County has risen to 33.4%, 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 1,013.3 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, 12 of Nevada’s 17 counties are flagged for high transmission.
Clark County’s case rate (2,759 per 100,000 over the past 30 days) and test positivity rate (33.4%) are flagged in data reported today. Testing (471 tests per day per 100,000) is within the state’s acceptable range.
The state’s health department reports 4,067,170 doses of the COVID-19 vaccine have been administered in Nevada, as of Jan. 11.
As of yesterday, 55.06% of Nevadans currently eligible for the vaccine are fully vaccinated, and 65.39% of the eligible population has initiated vaccinations. Clark County reports that 54.40% of its eligible residents are fully vaccinated.
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 (+39) since the previous day.
The current number of hospitalizations is 1,626 confirmed/suspected cases. Hospitals reported 267 of those patients were in intensive care units, and 127 were on ventilators. To give some perspective, the state set a record high for hospitalized patients on Dec. 13, 2020, with 2,025 patients.
The Nevada Hospital Association (NHA) reports in its weekly update that hospitals in Southern Nevada and rural counties are at “crisis” staffing levels.
“Clark County continues to experience significant increases in COVID-19 hospitalizations and simultaneous employee sick callouts,” according to NHA. “Both the north and south areas of the state are appreciating increases in ICU patient counts. The staffing situation remains in crisis for the second week. There is no indication that hospitalizations have peeked, and increases in COVID-19 hospital demand are anticipated for the next several weeks.”
There are 240 COVID-19 patients in intensive care in Clark County NHA moved to “warning” status when that number hit 221 earlier this week.
NHA also noted, “There is anecdotal evidence that people are experiencing COVID-19 reinfection in less than four months, including some vaccinated individuals. This reinfection rate may contribute to a prolonged hospital staffing challenge if this becomes the omicron norm.”
The graphs below show hospitalizations in Nevada (first image) and in Clark County:
The number of people who have recovered from the virus in Southern Nevada continues to increase. The latest county update estimates a total of 360,711 recovered cases; that’s 88.2% of all reported cases in the county, according to SNHD’s latest report.
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
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