Confirmed cases of COVID-19 locally saw a sharp increase today, March 26, as Clark County Public Health reported 28 news cases and a fifth confirmed case who has died.

Public Health’s latest update brings the number of confirmed cases to 48. The fifth death of a confirmed case was a man in his 80s who was previously hospitalized, though he had no known contact with another confirmed case.

Public Health did not have too much information on hospitalizations and whether or not the new cases had known contact with a previously-confirmed case, though it did break out the age ranges of the individuals. Of the cases, seven were between 50 and 59, six between 60 to 69 and five between 40 to 49, making up the bulk of the cases. There was also a case confirmed in an individual between 20 and 29 and one of someone between 90 and 99 years old.

At the time of Public Health’s announcement the department was still working to identify close contacts of the confirmed cases. The department received confirmation of the cases from a variety of health care providers and laboratories, noting that none of the confirmations were of individuals residing in long-term care facilities.

The new cases confirmed were all tested between two and 10 days, Public Health stated.

“Two factors are likely contributing to this increase in cases,” said Alan Melnick, Clark County health officer and Public Health Director. “First, we’re able to identify more cases because testing is available to more people than it was a few weeks ago. Second, the disease is spreading more in our community. We don’t know which is the bigger factor for the increase.”

Testing supplies remain limited in Clark County, with health care providers prioritizing who receives a test, Public Health stated. The department advised those with mild symptoms to stay home and away from others until 72 hours after a fever is gone and other symptoms improve. Those experiencing worsening symptoms, older than 60 or with underlying health conditions like a weakened immune system were asked to contact their health care provider to see if they needed in-person evaluation and testing.

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