COVID-19 cases down even as wastewater levels up

COVID-19 cases down even as wastewater levels up

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The full COVID-19 report for Aug. 30-Sept. 5 appears below.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — More signals that COVID-19 levels have grown in Clark County wastewater samples haven’t translated into reported cases or hospitalizations.

Data reported on the wastewater surveillance dashboard shows genetic material from the COVID-19 virus in higher concentrations in Las Vegas, Boulder City and especially at one water treatment plant in Henderson. It could be a sign that more COVID-19 cases are on the way, but recent increases have yet to produce more cases in the valley. It’s possible that people just aren’t getting severely ill or they haven’t been tested.

Wastewater surveillance detects virus DNA — it’s a good indicator for the presence of the virus, and levels usually increase before sickness actually occurs in the community.

COVID-19 cases continue to decline in Clark County according to data released Wednesday, and hospitalizations have dropped to levels last seen briefly at the end of April after the initial omicron surge had ended.

The 14-day moving average of new cases (per 100,000 population) dropped by about 27% over the past week, with case counts reported by the county also declining. The daily average for the county is at 137 cases, down from 187 cases a day reported last week. Statewide, the average fell by nearly 20%, now at 197 cases a day — down from 246 cases last week.

Hospitalizations also declined again, falling to a total of 103 patients in Clark County and 130 patients statewide. Currently, there are 12 COVID-19 patients under intensive care in Nevada, and seven using ventilators. The only increases reported in hospitalizations came in Washoe County and Carson City.

The county reported 13 deaths, while Nevada’s total was at 17. So far during the pandemic, 11,417 deaths have been reported in the state. Deaths are often reported weeks — or even months — after they occur.

COVID-19 levels have been on the decline since the first week of July.

The COVID-19 variants involved haven’t changed in recent weeks, but the omicron (BA.5) variant has continued to dominate — now accounting for 90.8% of the cases sequenced in Clark County, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The county’s COVID-19 community level moved to “low” on Aug. 11, and has remained there, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

Outside the Las Vegas valley, Boulder City and Searchlight also showed increases. Data posted for surveillance in Beatty and Pahrump showed increases — a big one in Pahrump — but the data is weeks old. Three monitoring sites that appear as white dots on the map haven’t been reporting data.

The viral counts shown on the dashboard are not the same as COVID-19 cases — the counts are just indicators that the virus is present in the community, and often the increases come before anyone in the community gets sick.

A look at vaccinations shows that 55.45% of all eligible Nevadans are now fully vaccinated. Statistics show that 64.95% of the population has initiated vaccination. The statistics have been adjusted to expand the eligible population numbers now that children as young as 6 months are eligible for vaccination. SNHD began offering vaccinations for children ages 6 months to 5 years old in June.

COVID-19 vaccines, available for free, greatly reduce the chance of severe illness or death.


  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 137 — down from 187 last week
  • Total cases: 592,562*
  • Deaths: 13 since last week (total: 8,930)
  • Hospitalizations: 100 (down 38 since last week)
    *-A difference in case counts exists between SNHD and the state. SNHD has reported for several weeks that it is working to address the difference. By SNHD’s current count, Clark County has had 575,529 cases as of this week.


  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 197 — down from 246 last week
  • Total cases: 778,352
  • Deaths: 17 (total: 11,417)
  • Hospitalizations: 143 (down 40 since last week)

The state and county are now providing weekly updates on COVID-19 cases, deaths and hospitalizations. Data released today includes information collected from Tuesday, Aug. 30, through Monday, Sept. 5.

See last week’s report here.

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