CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Health officials in Nevada on Monday reported 742 new confirmed coronavirus cases and six additional deaths, bringing the state’s total to 56,972 cases and 963 known deaths since the start of the pandemic.
Although Nevada’s 10.5% overall test positivity rate remains relatively high compared to other states, officials are optimistic because the growth rate of new cases has flattened.
Over the past seven days, the number of new cases has increased by 1.5%, or about 945 new cases, per day. By comparison, during the week that ended July 31, the growth rate was 2.3% or 1,037 new cases per day.
“The data continue to suggest a slowing of growth rates, related to both new cases and hospitalizations,” said Caleb Cage, the state’s COVID-19 response director.
But despite the trends, Nevada remains far away from the World Health Organization’s guidance that positivity rates should remain less than 5% for two weeks before reopening. The positivity rate for tests reported Monday was 11.7%.
The number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.
The vast majority of cases and deaths have been reported in the Las Vegas area. Cage said of the new cases reported Monday, 92% were in Clark County.
Compliance monitors issued citations to three businesses located in Fashion Show, a shopping mall on the Las Vegas Strip last week, the Department of Industrial Relations reported Monday. Saks Fifth Avenue, Sheikh Shoes and Forever 21 each were fined $8,501 after monitors observed violations of the state directives that limit capacity and mandate face-coverings after receiving an initial warning.
The Department reported 88% of the 5,444 businesses it has visited have been found in compliance with statewide directives — up from a month ago, when 79% of businesses were found to be in compliance. Compliance varies widely among Nevada cities; monitors reported only 53% of businesses in Ely to be compliant, while 100% of the 38 businesses observed in Pahrump were found in compliance.
For most people, the new coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough that clear up in two to three weeks. For some — especially older adults and people with existing health problems — it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia, and death. The vast majority of people recover.