(Andriy Onufriyenko/Getty Images)
Coronavirus cases in Nevada have been ticking back upward even as the state’s vaccine rollout continues to unfold.
The trend comes as overall cases in the U.S. have continued to decline, though Clark County is seeing cases and hospitalization increase since ending statewide restrictions.
Nevada health officials reported 821 additional positive cases of the coronavirus in the state Saturday, according to the Nevada Health Response dashboard.
The state’s two-week positivity rate is at 4.9%, up from 3.9% a week ago, data shows.
Monday’s numbers showed 355 hospitalized patients with confirmed or suspected cases, up from 246 patients a week earlier. A total of 93 cases were in intensive care units, with 36 on ventilators.
The Southern Nevada Health District said 736 of the state’s additional cases reported Monday were from Clark County, the most populous county in the state. That count includes more than 300 cases from laboratory reports dated June 25.
Clark County has seen a steady increase in COVID transmission and a plateau in vaccination rates.
State leaders expressed concern over the highly contagious Delta variant — which could be two times as transmissible as the conventional strain — prompting renewed calls for residents to take advantage of the available vaccines.
On Monday, Gov. Steve Sisolak announced efforts to intensify the vaccination efforts in Southern Nevada in partnership with local leaders and the Southern Nevada Health District.
“We know that in the last year and a half, the effects of this deadly virus have not changed, but our tools to fight the virus have – we now have vaccines, which are highly effective at reducing the severity of cases, hospitalization and deaths,” the governor said in a statement. “By working together to increase access and confidence in the vaccines, we can help bring these case numbers down and ensure our communities are healthy and safe.”
Sisolak’s office said the state will assign and deploy staff and Immunize Nevada community health workers to assist the Southern Nevada Health District in vaccination efforts throughout Clark County.
Efforts to increase vaccination rates in Clark County include launching and supporting mobile vaccine units and clinics both in urban and rural areas. The state will also increase efforts to enroll new providers to administer COVID-19 vaccines directly to patients.
Grant opportunities for community organizations will be provided to support direct outreach for underserved populations.
The state will work on developing public-private partnerships with businesses in Southern Nevada to offer incentives for residents to get vaccinated.
“Getting vaccinated is the best, most effective way people can protect themselves from COVID-19,” said Dr. Fermin Leguen, District Health Officer for the Southern Nevada Health District. “We are committed to working with our state and local partners to provide information, answer questions, and make sure access to the vaccines is convenient to everyone who wants them.”
Community COVID-19 vaccine clinic information can be found online at www.NVCOVIDFighter.org. The site also features live chat to make scheduling a COVID-19 vaccine appointment and getting information about the vaccine more accessible.
The rise in COVID-19 cases in Nevada presents a risk of prolonging the pandemic, which would primarily affect those who either can’t be vaccinated because of a health condition or because of their age, as well as those who are immunocompromised.
As Nevada sees an increasing trend of COVID-19, nationwide cases continue to fall, and vaccinations have continued at a steady pace in many states. Nearly all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. are from those who remain unvaccinated, according to the Associated Press.
Now the Biden administration is touring the country to highlight improvements in the economy and vaccination efforts.
Vice President Kamala Harris is expected to visit Las Vegas on Saturday as part of a stop on the administration’s nationwide “America’s Back Together” tour, designed to highlight progress the nation has made against the pandemic, according to the White House press office.
The announcement comes after Harris’s trip to Detroit to encourage people to receive COVID-19 vaccinations was canceled amid significant flooding in the area following weekend storms.
President Joe Biden, however, is scheduled to visit Traverse City, Michigan on Saturday alongside Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer.
Further details regarding the Vice-president’s Southern Nevada visit were not available Monday and the exact location of the event had not yet been released as of Monday evening.
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