COVID-19 hospitalizations declining as Kraken variant appears in Clark County

COVID-19 hospitalizations declining as Kraken variant appears in Clark County

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New cases decline by about 22% in Clark County compared to last week

The full COVID-19 report for Jan. 10-16 appears below.

LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — A rapid decline in the number of patients hospitalized for COVID-19, flu or RSV has improved the situation at hospitals around the state, according to a Wednesday report.

The Nevada Hospital Association says emergency room visits dropped by about 17% compared to the previous week. About 11% of those patients had COVID-19 symptoms, NHA said. The number of hospitalized COVID-19 patients dropped by 73 statewide in just a week, now standing at 219.

That’s good news as the highly contagious Kraken variant of COVID-19 has shown up in Southern Nevada. It’s the first time the variant — COVID-19 XBB.1.5 — has been reported by the Southern Nevada Health District (SNHD), which tracks variants through genetic sequencing.

The Kraken variant was detected in about 29% of cases that were analyzed by SNHD. That’s still not enough to make it the dominant variant in Clark County, but it’s almost there.

The dominant variant in Clark County is currently BQ.1.1 (34.5% of cases sequenced).

In late December, the Kraken variant was reported in Nevada by the Nevada State Public Health Laboratory in Reno. That report, from late December, indicated Kraken was detected in 3% of all cases sequenced.

The exotic nickname assigned to the XBB.1.5 variant has people curious, but Kraken is much like previous omicron variants and vaccines will help control it, according to a recent article in Scientific American. Kraken is unusually contagious, according to recent reports, but might be no more dangerous than variants that have already run their course. Vaccines that are already available should help.

The 14-day moving average (per 100,000 population) shows cases declining by 22.6% in Clark County, and 23.2% statewide. As of Monday, 190 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 in Clark County, and 219 people are hospitalized statewide.

NHA reports hospitals statewide are currently at 73% capacity, with occupancy rates in intensive care at 73%.

Clark County reported nine deaths, with the total for the pandemic now at 9,248. Statewide, 11 deaths pushed the total to 11,834.

Wastewater surveillance reports updated through Jan. 6 showed small increases in virus DNA in sewer samples taken in Clark County, one Henderson monitoring site and Boulder City.

If you have symptoms, get tested and avoid spreading the virus to others. If you haven’t been vaccinated, go to the Southern Nevada Health District’s website for information on getting a shot, or updating your immunity by getting a booster.


  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 150 — down from 194 the previous week. (-22.6%)
  • Total cases: 616,158*
  • Deaths: 9 since last week (total: 9,248)
  • Hospitalizations: 190 (down 46 from the previous week)
    *-A difference in case counts exists between SNHD and the state. By SNHD’s current count, Clark County has had 595,888 cases as of this week.


  • New daily confirmed cases (14-day moving average, per 100,000 population) 188 — down from 245 the previous week. (-23.2%)
  • Total cases: 812,865
  • Deaths: 11 since last week (total: 11,834)
  • Hospitalizations: 219 (down 73 from the previous week)

The county’s COVID-19 community level moved to “medium” on Thursday, Dec. 1, after staying at “low” since Aug. 11, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s website.

See last week’s report here.

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