Nevada COVID-19 cases ‘on the downslope of another wave’

Published: Jul. 18, 2022 at 10:21 PM PDT
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LAS VEGAS, Nev. (FOX5) - Nationally, the US appears to be in the midst of another COVID-19 wave. COVID cases, hospitalizations, and deaths are on the rise. However, the latest COVID numbers show a downturn in Nevada. As of last Wednesday, the 14-day rolling average was down to 840 cases reversing a three-week uptick.

“For us here in Clark County, it looks like we are actually on the downslope of another COVID wave that has been dominated largely by the BA.5 variant,” explained Dr. Staci McHale, immediate past President of the Clark County Medical Society. Dr. McHale said cases in our area are trending in the right direction and our numbers are much better than our neighbors. Unless conditions improve, Los Angeles County will by the end of the month find itself with an indoor mask mandate once again, according to the LA Times.

“They’ve currently seen a 27% increase in the last 14 days of COVID and Clark County has actually seen a 10% decrease, so we have hit the peak it looks like of our most recent wave,” Dr. McHale stated.

One of the biggest challenges is getting accurate case counts. At the University of Washington, researchers who test blood to assess the true level of infections estimate only 14% of cases are being reported across the United States. That is in large part due to the rise in home testing that goes unreported, reductions in mass testing services, and mild or asymptomatic infections going unnoticed.

“There is a lot of push toward home testing, and it is very difficult to report those tests. Clark County, right now, is not collecting data on positive home tests and it is estimated that the PCR tests are only capturing about 15% of the COVID infected population,” Dr. McHale asserted.

“My husband tested positive for COVID and he only he only used the home test,” Dr. McHale shared.

Dr. McHale believes the reason Clark County is having a lower rate of COVID transmission is directly related to doing well in terms of vaccination rates.

“For Clark County, our data is pretty amazing,” Dr. McHale beamed. “Sixty-four percent of Clark County is fully vaccinated that includes 41,000 children ages 5-11 and 79% of Clark County has received at least one COVID 19 dose,” Dr. McHale revealed.

Dr. McHale wants everyone to know it is not too late to get vaccinated and many people still are.

“Data, even as recently as last week, is still showing that Clark County is still giving 1,000 to 1,200 vaccines per day,” Dr. McHale said.

Dr. McHale also said to expect a new booster to address different variants of COVID to be released within the next few months.