Nevada, Las Vegas chart jumps in key COVID-19 measurements

LAS VEGAS — Health officials in Nevada are charting jumps in key coronavirus measurements, including more than 3,800 new cases of COVID-19 in Clark County during the last week.
The Las Vegas area surpassed 6,400 deaths from coronavirus since the pandemic began, or 77% of the more than 8,300 people who've died statewide.
The Southern Nevada Health District on Tuesday reported 974 new cases and 15 deaths in Clark County since Monday, while the state added 1,139 cases and 28 deaths, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.
On Monday, state health officials confirmed three new cases of the fast-spreading omicron variant in Nevada, including two in Las Vegas and surrounding Clark County.
That brought the statewide number of omicron cases to five since the first one was detected last week, including three in Clark County.
Much about the omicron coronavirus variant remains unknown, including whether it causes more or less severe illness. Scientists say omicron spreads even easier than other coronavirus strains, including delta, and it is expected to become dominant in the U.S. by early next year.
Statewide, officials reported a rise to 499 cases of COVID-19 on Monday, using a 14-day moving average, and seven new deaths. Nevada has reported 8,339 people dead from the coronavirus since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Test positivity, a measure of the number of people tested and found to have COVID-19, has risen from 6.8% in mid-October to 11.3% on Monday. The World Health Organization goal is 5% or below to relax mitigation measures.
Masks are required for everyone indoors in most Nevada counties, and in the cities of Las Vegas and Reno, unless they are actively eating or drinking.
About 63.5% of people statewide have received at least one dose of coronavirus vaccine, and almost 54% have received more than one shot, according to the state Department of Health and Human Services.
In the Las Vegas area, home to about 2.4 million of the state's 3.2 million residents, health officials report those numbers are slightly higher: 67.5% and 55.5%, respectively.
Tourism officials announced last week that a big New Year's Eve fireworks display that usually draws 300,000 or more people to the Las Vegas Strip will return this year, even as some events elsewhere are canceled due to the omicron variant spreading in more states.
The choreographed fireworks show was called off last year due to the pandemic, although thousands of people still gathered in the heart of the casino corridor.


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