On Tuesday, Nevada's Clark County (the county in which Las Vegas resides) recorded its single biggest increase of new COVID-19 cases since the state began noticing/dealing with the outbreak back in March.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, 342 new cases were identified in the Southern Nevada Health District. That's 100 more than the previous high of 242, which was the amount of new cases that was reported last Saturday. If you're looking for something resembling good news, the Health District also reported that 188 additional people who had been infected are now recovered.
In addition to that county setting a new (also bad) record of total people to get sick in a day, the entire state saw its largest increase of new cases in a single day, which is something you'd probably expect to correlate with having the highest number of recorded sick in their most populous county. The state's cumulative positivity rate (see: the amount of tested people turning up positive) also went up by 0.6 percentage points, which is just the second time since early May in which that number has increased.
As of Tuesday afternoon, the Nevada Hospital Association noted that the state's hospitals are still a ways away from hitting their capacity. Specifically, more than 30 percent of staffed hospital and ICU beds remain open.
The Nevada Department of Health and Human Services has stated that, like several others states, an increase in positive tests was expected once people transitioned from self-lockdown back to reopening. Note that, in March, the state shutdown its booming casino industry for 30 days to try and contain the spread. That shutdown was eventually extended, with casinos not opening up again until about two weeks ago, on June 4.
“The State had the expectation that as a result of reopening and an increase in testing, our positive cases were likely to increase,” said a spokeswoman. “We continue to encourage all Nevadans to maintain good hand hygiene, wear a face covering in public and observe six feet of social distance with those who are not in your household.”
Dr. Mike Johnson of the Southern Nevada Health District also believes that, in addition to reopening businesses contributing to the spread, the recent protests may have also contributed to the uptick.
The Review-Journal adds that roughly 5,600 tests were administered on Tuesday (representing a positivity rate of about 6 percent). That amount of tests being run adds up to one of the county's biggest days of testing.
“We’re not in the post-COVID-19 era. We’re in the middle of a COVID-19 pandemic,” said Governor Steve Sisolak during a Monday press conference. “We’re right dead smack in the middle of it.”
Sisolak says that contact tracing will help state officials determine the sources of new outbreaks.
“We will see as we move forward with the contact tracing if this surge in cases is the result of people going to protests or that had gone to another event,” he added, according to News 3 Las Vegas.
So far Clark County has registered a total of 9,157 cases amongst its residents. Roughly 19 percent of those people had to be hospitalized at some point in their illnesses, and about 6,800 have recovered. On a more morbid (but necessary) note, 380 have died.
Meanwhile, the number of those currently hospitalized with COVID-19 sits at a relatively low number, with 349 residents currently in medical centers throughout the state, as compared to a high of 711 in early April.
As for the overall fight, over 11,600 Nevadans have come down with the illness. 467 have died, while 8,400 have recovered.