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Mild uptick in positive tests draws cautionary response

Nevada Health Response officials noted Tuesday that the state’s COVID-19 data is showing an above-average daily increase in COVID-19 cases and reminds Nevadans of precautionary measures that can be taken to minimize the spread of the virus.

“When we began reopening Nevada and substantially increasing testing, we anticipated we would see an increase in new cases diagnosed,” said Melissa Peek-Bullock, the state epidemiologist. “Nevada has flattened the curve, but the virus is still among us. That’s why it is important Nevadans continue to safeguard their health by staying home when possible, washing their hands frequently, wearing a face covering in public and staying at least six feet from other people if possible.”

COVID-19 data shows that the state is beginning to see what could be an upward trend of average daily new cases diagnosed in the past two weeks, partially due to an increase in easily accessible testing statewide.

The cumulative test positivity rate – which measures how many positive tests there are against total tests done in the state – increased slightly today for the first time since it started to decline in late April, moving up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent. The cumulative test positivity rate also increased slightly on different days in late April and in early May during the current period of overall decline.

Similar to those increases, this most recent uptick is not enough to break the overall declining trend, but it will be monitored for any potential impact on the health care system.

The Nevada Hospital Association is also reporting the fourth consecutive daily increase of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state, but hospital capacity remains available and hospitals are not reporting surges.

Hospitals are reporting that 68 percent of total beds are occupied, 66 percent of ICU beds are occupied and only 27 percent of ventilators are in use. Hospitals are continuing to report a sufficient amount of personal protective equipment.

The Nevada Hospital Association is also reminding Nevadans that is it safe to visit a doctor or a hospital to seek urgent care when sick or injured. Nevada hospitals have resumed limited visitation for non-COVID-19 patients so that friends and family can visit a loved one when hospitalized. Additional safety measures are in place and will include universal face coverings, health screenings for visitors and social distancing protocols.

Knowing that the state would see an increase in cases upon reopening, officials continue to monitor the data and remind Nevadans to take precautionary measures to help mitigate the spread. Nevadans should continue to stay at home when possible, wear a face covering in public, maintain six feet of social distancing and follow proper hand hygiene.

More information on Nevada’s COVID-19 response can be found at nvhealthresponse.nv.gov

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