COVID Cases Top 8,000 In Las Vegas Area Over New Year’s Weekend

Coronavirus cases exploded to more than 8,000 in Clark County over the holiday weekend, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The county tallied 8,104 new cases of COVID-19 between Friday and Sunday, bringing the total to 377,518, the district said today. Friday’s report saw the most cases, with 3,261.

“Today, we are seeing an alarming number of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations reported after the end of year holidays,” Gov. Steve Sisolak said in a statement. “My team is continuing to analyze the numbers and we are working with health districts and other partners to provide resources to combat the surge we are facing.”

Sisolak urged people to get vaccinated and boosted against COVID and to wear face masks in indoor public places, regardless of vaccination status.

With the spread of the COVID-19 omicron variant, University Medical Center said it was seeing a significant increase in patients in the emergency room and at its Quick Care locations. It warned that people visiting those locations for routine medical needs may experience longer waits.

UMC CEO Mason Van Houweling asked people to avoid unnecessary hospital or clinic visits for nonurgent medical issues, including asymptomatic or mild cases of COVID. “Otherwise healthy people with mild or no symptoms should isolate at home, monitor their symptoms and seek medical care if their condition worsens,” he said.

“Please rest assured that UMC remains fully prepared to meet the health care needs of our community,” Van Houweling said. “We have planned for this scenario, and we have the staffing, supplies and bed space needed to ensure our patients receive the high-quality care they deserve in the safest possible clinical environment.”

Roughly half of the New Year’s weekend’s new cases in Clark County were among younger adults, in the 25-49 age group.

The county reported 21 new hospitalizations and no deaths in the same period, but those metrics would be relatively lower because they reflect a reporting lag and the time needed for the disease to progress that far.

In test positivity, Clark County continues to set daily records. The state health department showed Clark County with a 14-day rolling average of 14.1%, but SNHD, which uses a tighter window, showed that Clark County’s seven-day rolling average for test positivity hit 36.3% on Saturday.

Last winter’s surge topped out at a testing positivity rate of 22.9% on Jan. 2, 2021. But this winter’s wave, fueled by more-contagious variants that hadn’t emerged a year ago, broke that previous high-water mark last week and has been consistently topping it since.


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