Nevada virus cases approaching 24,000 but ventilator use remains low |

Nevada virus cases approaching 24,000 but ventilator use remains low

As of Monday, Nevada had a total of 23,785 COVID-19 cases.

But Caleb Cage, who is managing the governor’s virus monitoring program, said contrary to what one website said, the Silver State does not have the nation’s highest percentage rate of positives. He said the evidence is that Nevada’s positive rate is similar to other states.

Cage said the number of cases rose 876 Monday from the day before, with 836 of those in Clark County.

There were just two new cases reported in Washoe but he said that was because Washoe over-reported its positive cases the day before.

On the positive side, he said even though there are more cases requiring hospitalization, the percentage of beds occupied remains about 72 percent and only 34 percent of Nevada’s ventilators are in use, indicating that while more numerous, the virus cases aren’t as serious as they were before.

“But this virus is still among us and we must do everything we can,” he said.

That includes staying home as much as possible, social distancing when out and wearing face coverings when in public.

A calculation of the spread of the infection is the estimate of how many people a person who is positive passes the infection to was at 1.61 on June 28. He said that is now down to 1.2 infections.

Cage said when that rate is at 1 or below, the virus is going away.

Julia Peek of the Department of Health and Human Services said they now have more than 500 people attempting to do contact tracing. She said one problem that has arisen is that some people won’t cooperate with the contact tracer because they, “think it’s a scam.”

Asked if Nevada is considering pulling back to test only those with symptoms, Cage said the governor has ordered that tests be available for all who want or feel they need them. Some states have been forced to cut back on who can get a test because of the lack of available test supplies and lab capacity.

“Testing, for the foreseeable future, will remain a critical aspect of the reopening plan,” he said.