Clark County reported more than 1,200 new cases and 11 additional deaths due to the coronavirus on Friday.
The 1,263 new cases raised the total cases in the county to 28,189, according to data from the Southern Nevada Health District. The number of fatalities in the county is now 518. The health district also estimates that about 19,564 people have recovered from the virus.
Friday’s new cases represented the second-highest daily case total that has been reported by the health district. The highest number of new cases was reported Thursday, at 1,315.
Tuesday was the first day that Clark County had reported more than 1,000 new cases.
Clark County on Friday said officials are working to determine if additional closures or restrictions are necessary to curb the number of coronavirus cases in Nevada, one day after the state was identified as a coronavirus “red zone” in an internal report prepared for a White House task force.
On Thursday, the Washington D.C.-based nonprofit newsroom Center for Public Integrity reported that Nevada was listed as a coronavirus “red zone” in the internal report. The classification is based on Nevada reporting more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people last week, and having more than 10 percent of diagnostic tests returned positive.
The Las Vegas-Henderson-Paradise metropolitan area and Clark County are specifically named as a “red zone,” and are the only metropolitan area and county in Nevada to receive the designation. The classification comes with recommendations to bring back more stringent control measures, some of which Nevada has already imposed.
Among the report’s policy recommendations for red zone areas: closing bars and gyms, limiting social gatherings to 10 people or fewer and recruiting more contact tracers as community outreach workers.
The governor’s office announced in a news release Thursday that it is asking localities in red and yellow zones to report what actions beyond statewide control measures they have taken or plan to take.
“Under the governor’s emergency directives, local governments are granted authority to promulgate additional COVID-19 related rules and regulations for their locality that are more restrictive than those issued by the Governor’s Office,” the news release said.
The localities listed in the “yellow zone” include Reno, Elko, Pahrump, Carson City, Fernley and Fallon, according to the White House document. The counties in yellow zones are Washoe, Elko, Nye, Carson City, Lyon and Churchill.
The “yellow zone” designation is for areas where there were 10 to 100 new cases per 100,000 people, and 5 to 10 percent of diagnostic testing came back positive, or only one of the two conditions met the “red zone” criteria.
Meanwhile on Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services reported an additional 1,380 cases on Friday, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 33,295. There also were an additional 13 deaths reported statewide, bringing the fatality total to 637.
Both the state and the county health district redistribute new cases and death data after daily announcements to better reflect when a patient experienced an onset of symptoms or when a death occurred. The county data comes with a disclaimer that daily totals may be skewed on days when a large number of laboratory tests are reported late.
More than 374,000 people in Nevada have been tested for the virus, representing an infection rate of 8.89 percent, according to state data. Friday marked the ninth straight daily increase for the infection rate — the number of confirmed cases divided by the number of people tested — which experts say is a better barometer of the trend of the outbreak.
The infection rate declined for more than two months before hitting a low of 5.20 percent on June 17. It has risen every day but one since then.
The Nevada Hospital Association reported that as of Thursday, there were 1,000 people in the state currently hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases. Of those patients, 885 are in Clark County. The county also has 73 percent of its staffed hospital beds occupied with patients, and 50 percent of its ventilators in use, according to the hospital association’s website.
This is a developing story. Check back for updates.
Contact Katelyn Newberg at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0240. Follow @k_newberg on Twitter.
Review-Journal staff writer Shea Johnson contributed to this report.