Clark County COVID-19 hospitalizations rise, mostly older and unvaccinated

FILE - Three-year-old twins Luca, left, and Quincy Yacoub show off their Band-Aids after gettin ...

Hospitalizations from COVID-19 in Clark County were back up this week after a slight decrease the week before, but people who required hospitalization are generally older and unvaccinated, the Nevada Hospital Association said Wednesday.

The number of patients hospitalized with confirmed or suspected cases of COVID-19 in Clark County increased to 374 from last week’s 338, according to data released Wednesday by the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services. There were 455 hospitalizations statewide, also up from last week’s 402.

A majority of the patients requiring hospitalization are 70 or older, and the number of people being admitted to the ICU for care or who require mechanical ventilation remain near all-time lows, the hospital association said.

As the highly-transmissible omicron variant has fueled the latest increase in cases, experts say that hospitalizations are a better indicator of COVID’s impact on a community than case numbers.

But case numbers were also up slightly from last week, with the county’s two-week average of daily confirmed cases rising to 666 from 637 last week, according to state data. The number of cases statewide also rose to 870 from 834.

The Southern Nevada Health District announced earlier this month that Clark County was experiencing a high level of community spread of COVID-19, a CDC designation that is based on hospitalization and case numbers.

Clark County’s designation remained high on Wednesday, but the Nevada Hospital Association said that the fluctuations week to week were minor.

“COVID-19 remains manageable in the Nevada hospital system,” they wrote. “Hospitals now have learned the best treatments and practices, we can anticipate future surges via the NHA’s daily monitoring, and hospitals have processes in place to quickly adapt to new variants, surges, and treatments.”

On Tuesday, advisers for the Food and Drug Administration recommended updating the current COVID-19 booster shots to target the omicron variant that has been driving cases over the last few months.

As of Wednesday, 57.6 percent of Nevadans age 5 or older were fully vaccinated, compared with 56.9 percent in Clark County.

Vaccines began rolling out for children ages 6 months to 5 years old earlier this month after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices recommended both the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines for children.

For more information on COVID-19 clinic locations, visit covid.southernnevadahealthdistrict.org.

Contact Lorraine Longhi at 480-243-4086 or llonghi@reviewjournal.com. Follow her @lolonghi on Twitter.