NEVADA (KTNV) — Nevada Health Response officials noted on Tuesday that Nevada's COVID-19 data is showing an above-average daily increase in COVID-19 cases and reminded Nevadans of the precautionary measures that can be taken to minimize the spread of the virus.
"When we began reopening Nevada and substantially increasing testing, we anticipated we would see an increase in new cases diagnosed. Nevada has flattened the curve, but the virus is still among us," said Melissa Peek-Bullock, state epidemiologist. "That's why it is important Nevadans continue to safeguard their health by staying home when possible, washing their hands frequently, wearing a face-covering in public and staying at least six feet from other people if possible."
Nevada's COVID-19 data shows that the state is beginning to see what could be an upward trend of average daily new cases diagnosed in the last two weeks, partially due to an increase in easily accessible testing statewide.
The cumulative test positivity rate – which measures how many positive tests there are against total tests done in the state - increased slightly on Tuesday for the first time since it started to decline in late April, moving up from 5.4 percent to 5.5 percent.
The cumulative test positivity rate also increased slightly on different days in late April and in early May during the current period of the overall decline.
However, similar to those increases, the recent uptick is not enough to break the overall declining trend, according to Nevda's Health Response. But officials said they will continue to monitor the numbers for any potential impact on the health care system.
The Nevada Hospital Association is also reporting the fourth consecutive daily increase of confirmed COVID-19 hospitalizations across the state, but hospital capacity remains available, and hospitals are not reporting surges.
Hospitals are reporting that 68 percent of total beds are occupied, 66 percent of ICU beds are occupied, and 27 percent of ventilators are in use.
Hospitals are also continuing to report a sufficient amount of PPE.
The Nevada Hospital Association reminded Nevadans that is it safe to visit a doctor or a hospital to seek urgent care when sick or injured. Nevada's health care providers also continue to treat people who are ill and ensure the wellness of those in a safe and appropriate care setting.
Nevada hospitals have resumed limited visitation for patients not dealing with COVID-19. Additional safety measures are in place and will include universal face coverings, health screenings for visitors, and social distancing protocols, according to officials.
Knowing that the state would see an increase in cases upon reopening, officials continue to monitor the data and remind Nevadans to take precautionary measures to help mitigate the spread.
Officials say Nevadans should continue to stay at home when possible, wear a face cover in public, maintain six feet of social distancing, and follow proper hand hygiene.