Nevada's COVID-19 positivity rate has more than doubled in past month

Nevada's COVID-19 positivity rate has more than doubled in past month

Nevada's two-week COVID-19 positivity rate has more than doubled in the past month to 8.2 percent, according to state data, and new cases are increasing at a rapid pace.

The rate, which exceeded 8 percent for the first time since late February, has been increasing since it hit a recent low of 3.3 percent on June 9. The 14-day rolling average of new cases that week was 132.

Numbers have been steadily increasing since.

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According to updated data posted by the state Department of Health and Human Services, the two-week rolling average of new COVID-19 cases increased to 369 per day Thursday, the highest it has been since 375 in February.

Meanwhile, vaccinations in the state have been declining. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 53 percent of the state's eligible population has received at least one dose of a coronavirus vaccine.

The vaccination rates in rural counties are the lowest in the state, as only about 40 percent of residents over the age of 12 have received at least one dose. 

Infection rates are highest in areas with low vaccination rates. The highest positivity rates in Nevada are in Storey County, at 18 percent, and Elko County, at about 17 percent.

Hospitalizations are also increasing, driven primarily by people who have not been vaccinated.

The state fully reopened and lifted all restrictions on June 1, though many of the Las Vegas casinos had been open earlier. Officials have said no new restrictions are currently under consideration.

The recent rise in positivity is being driven in large part by the delta variant of the coronavirus, which now accounts for the majority of new infections in the country.