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Nevada drops below 5% COVID positivity rate for 1st time

Nevada on Saturday dropped for the first time below the 5 percent positivity rate the World Health Organization’s says governments should hit for 14 days straight before beginning to reopen.

The two-week positivity rate, which essentially tracks the percentage of people tested for COVID-19 who are confirmed to be infected, decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 4.9 percent.

The state reported 271 new coronavirus cases and 10 additional deaths over the preceding day, with both metrics remaining above recent averages for the third day in a row, according to state data.

Updated figures posted to the Department of Health and Human Services’ coronavirus website brought totals in the state to 300,951 cases and 5,171 deaths.

Nevada’s new cases were well above the moving 14-day average of daily reported cases of 206. Fatalities were also well above the moving two-week average of five deaths per day, the state data showed.

Despite the recent above-average daily reports, all major disease metrics have been trending lower in the state since mid-January or earlier, health officials have said.

State and county health agencies often redistribute data after it is reported to better reflect the date of death or onset of symptoms, which is why the moving-average trend lines frequently differ from daily reports and are considered better indicators of the direction of the outbreak.

The data also showed 309 people in Nevada were hospitalized with confirmed or suspected COVID-19 cases, which is the same as the previous day. The figure peaked at 2,126 on Dec. 22, according to state data.

Clark County’s two-week positivity rate also dropped by 0.2 percentage points on Thursday, reaching 5 percent, state data shows. The rate is 0.1 percentage points higher than the state’s average.

Contact Alexis Ford at aford@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0335. Follow @alexisdford on Twitter.

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