Nevada virus hospitalizations up 230% over past month

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LAS VEGAS — The number of people hospitalized in Nevada with COVID-19 has more than doubled over the last month, officials said Monday, increasing to 1,617 hospitalized patients statewide and up from 692.

The Nevada Hospital Association reported hospitalized coronavirus patients increased more than 230% from Nov. 6 to Dec. 6 as the state continues experiencing a surge of coronavirus cases.

Hospital officials also reported that the number of patients needing ventilators grew 250% from early November.

Nevada COVID-19 response director Caleb Cage said Monday that officials expect the number of reported cases to continue rising because of gatherings people held over Thanksgiving. That will likely increase hospitalizations, Cage said.

Statewide, 80% of staffed hospital beds were occupied Monday and 40% of the ventilators in Nevada were being used.

Nevada Department of Public and Behavioral Health Deputy Administrator Julia Peek said state officials hope that the first batch of COVID-19 vaccines will begin arriving within a week or so, but that depends on final approval from a federal panel of vaccine experts. The advisory group is meeting this week to consider Pfizer's vaccine and next week to consider Moderna's.

Soon after that, Nevada expects to receive its initial round of doses, which plans to distribute to frontline workers such as hospital staff, paramedics, laboratory technicians, prison workers and nursing home residents and workers.

Nevada reported 2,448 new COVID-19 cases and four more deaths Monday as the state continued to hit new highs for the number reported positive cases over a two-week period.

The state's 14-day positivity rate was 21.2% on Monday — the highest since the start of the pandemic. Nevada has been hitting new highs in that rolling trend since it began experiencing a spike in reported coronavirus cases in mid-November.

Nevada has reported 170,587 COVID-19 cases since the start of the pandemic and 2,319 deaths.

For most people, the virus causes mild or moderate symptoms for up to three weeks. Older adults and people with existing health problems can face severe illness and death. However, the vast majority of people recover.


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