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COVID-19: Downward trend reported by state officials

By Sudhiti Naskar

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Nevada is showing a downward trend in COVID-19 cases, but it may not yet be time to rejoice, state officials said this week. There were 21 new deaths reported in Nevada on Monday. This is down from the daily average death rate of 27 in recent weeks. 

The mortality rate has steadily remained at 1.4% for a full 30 days — down from 2% in October, and between 1.6 to 1.9% for most of November. 

The number of new confirmed coronavirus cases on Monday was logged at 868, consistent with a declining seven-day rolling average of 1,785 new cases per day. This is about a 32% decrease from two weeks ago. 

But, going by disease investigation trends, which show a slight decrease in new cases followed by higher plateaus at both the state and county levels, it might be too soon to declare success in COVID-19 prevention. 

Caleb Cage

Instead of reading the disease situation from a single day, “focusing on trends remains critical,” said Caleb Cage, Nevada’s COVID-19 Response Director. 

Trends and patterns indicate that Nevadans will need to wait for at least another week to see if the infection rates and deaths are decreasing at all. 

The test positivity rate has remained at an average of about 19% throughout most of December. In weeks following the Thanksgiving weekend, the test positivity rate shot up to 36.8% on Dec. 11, about 14 days after the holiday weekend. 

As of Monday the 14 day-rolling average of the test positivity rate remains at 19.9%, reported the task force. 

Cage also indicated that less than the usual number of people might have been tested during the Christmas holidays. 

“It is possible there may be an increase in testing numbers within the next week if people chose not to seek testing over the holiday, or because locations were limited over the holiday weekend,” Cage said during the statewide media briefing. 

“It’s similar to weekends, where testing and reporting tend to go down, then catch up a few days later — and similar to what has been experienced as a result of holidays in the past. 

“At this point, it is too soon to determine the impacts from the holidays,”  Cage added.

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