Nevada recorded 226 new cases of COVID-19 and 26 additional deaths from the disease over the preceding day, according to state data posted Tuesday.
Updated figures posted by the Health and Human Services Department on its nvhealthresponse.nv.gov website pushed the state’s case total to 74,040 and the death toll to 1,482.
New cases were well below the daily average of nearly 264 over the preceding week, while the fatalities were far above the daily average of nine for the period.
The state’s cumulative infection or positivity rate remained unchanged for the third straight day at 11.46 percent.
The rate, calculated by the Review-Journal as confirmed cases divided by the number of people tested, has declined or remained unchanged every day but one since Sept. 4, when it crested at 11.63 percent.
That decline in what public officials say is a better measure of the trend of the outbreak than new cases or deaths numbers, indicates the disease caused by the new coronavirus is not spreading as rapidly as in recent weeks.
Hospitalizations of suspected and confirmed COVID-19 patients increased for the second straight day in Tuesday’s report to a total of 483, but that remains far below the high of 1,165 patients reported on July 31.
Testing for COVID-19 has dropped off recently from higher levels seen in late July and early August, and numbers typically are lower early in the week because fewer tests are processed over the weekends. But Tuesday’s update was low even by those standards, with 2,538 tests lagging well below the average of nearly 6,121 over the preceding week.
New cases of COVID-19 in Clark County, meanwhile, remained below the average levels of recent weeks, with 140 reported over the preceding day, but the number of deaths spiked to 25, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District.
Numbers posted on the district’s coronavirus webpage increased the case total for the county 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.
New cases were well below the daily average of nearly 191 over the preceding week, while the added fatalities were well above the daily average of eight for the period.
Most of those who contract the respiratory illness develop mild to moderate symptoms, and some people notice no symptoms at all. But certain at-risk populations, notably older individuals and people with underlying health issues, are susceptible to serious complications that can cause death.
In Clark County, for example, people 50 and older account for nearly 30 percent of the COVID-19 cases, but more than 92 percent of the deaths.
Statistics on underlying health conditions are not as clear cut, as it is often not determined whether a patient has other health issues.
Even so, health district data shows 805 deceased COVID-19 patients in Clark County, or 66 percent of total deaths, had underlying health conditions. Of the remaining 427 with no known underlying health condition, only 79 were classified as “historically healthy” by the health district.
That does not mean COVID-19 is being improperly listed as the cause of death in cases where underlying health conditions played a role. Medical experts say the virus can trigger a chain of reactions that ultimately overwhelm the body’s defenses and result in death.