Nevada reported 226 new cases of COVID-19 and an additional 26 deaths from the disease during the previous day, according to state data released Tuesday.
Updated figures published by the Department of Health and Human Services on its website nvhealthresponse.nv.gov raised the total state case to 74,040 and the death toll to 1,482.
New cases were well below the daily average of nearly 264 during the previous week, while fatalities were well above the daily average again of the period.
The state’s accumulated infection or positivity rate remained unchanged for the third day in a row, at 11.46 percent.
The rate, calculated by the Review-Journal as confirmed cases divided by the number of people analyzed, has decreased or remained unchanged every day, but one since September 4, when it rose to 11.63 per one hundred.
This decline in what public officials say is a better measure of the outbreak trend than new cases or death tolls, indicating that the disease caused by the new coronavirus is not spreading as quickly as in recent weeks.
Hospitalizations of suspected and confirmed patients with COVID-19 increased for the second day in a row on Tuesday’s report to a total of 483, but this remains well below the maximum of 1,165 patients reported on July 31st.
COVID-19 testing has recently dropped from the highest levels observed in late July and early August, and figures tend to be lower at the beginning of the week because fewer tests are processed over the weekends. But Tuesday’s update was low even by those standards, with 2,538 tests falling well below the average of about 6,121 during the previous week.
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Meanwhile, new cases of COVID-19 in Clark County remained below average levels in recent weeks, with 140 recorded the previous day, but the death toll rose to 25, according to Southern Nevada Health data District.
Figures posted on the district’s coronavirus website increased the county’s total number of cases to 62,952 and the death toll to 1,287. The district estimates that 58,265 of those who contracted the disease caused by the new coronavirus have recovered.
The new cases were well below the daily average of almost 191 during the previous week, while the added fatalities were well above the daily average of eight in the period.
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Most people who contract respiratory disease have mild to moderate symptoms and some people do not notice any symptoms. But certain at-risk populations, especially the elderly and people with underlying health problems, are susceptible to serious complications that can cause death.
In Clark County, for example, people aged 50 and over account for nearly 30% of COVID-19 cases, but more than 92% of deaths.
Statistics on underlying health conditions are not as clear, as it is often not determined whether a patient has other health problems.
However, health district data show that 805 COVID-19 patients killed in Clark County, or 66% of all deaths, had underlying health conditions. Of the remaining 427 without any known underlying health status, only 79 were classified as “historically healthy” by the health district.
This is not to say that COVID-19 is indiscriminately indicated as a cause of death in cases where the underlying health conditions played a role. Medical experts say the virus can trigger a chain of reactions that eventually overwhelm the body’s defenses and cause death.
Contact Mike Brunker at email@example.com or 702-383-4656. Follow @mike_brunker on Twitter.