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Half of eligible Nevadans now fully vaccinated for COVID-19

August 20, 2021 GMT

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Half of all eligible Nevada residents are now fully vaccinated against the coronavirus, pushing the state closer to the national vaccination rate of about 60% for all people 12 years of age and older, state health officials said.

Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak said Friday that the 50% of residents 12 and older who are now fully vaccinated is an “incredible milestone to reach.”

“We know there is more work to be done and we will remain focused on promoting vaccine opportunities throughout the state,” he said in a statement.

Among those 12 and older, 60.5% have initiated vaccination, receiving at least one dose of vaccine, officials said.

Nationally, 59.8% of that age group was fully vaccinated and 70.4% had received the first of two shots as of Thursday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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Nevada’s 14-day average of new daily COVID-19 cases and positivity rate both declined through the week after a steady rise began in early June.

Average daily new cases stood at 928 on Thursday, the third daily drop since the average was 1,107 on Monday. That was the highest average since 1,113 on Jan. 31 before numbers began a steady decline to as low as 135 in early June.

The state’s positivity rate also edged lower from 16.3% last weekend to 14.9% on Thursday. The rate climbed as high as 21% in mid-January but remained below 6% from early May through June. It dropped as low as 3.3% on June 10 before beginning another steady climb.

At an emergency meeting on Friday, the state Board of Health approved a vaccine mandate plan for Nevada’s public colleges and universities scheduled to take effect on Nov. 1. The vaccine requirement will not affect enrollment until the spring semester.

Meanwhile, Nevada Press Association Executive Director Richard Karpel is questioning why the state’s largest school district refuses to make public the numbers of students and employees at individual schools in Las Vegas required to quarantine after close contact with someone who tested positive for COVID-19.

Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara says the district in Las Vegas is keeping secret information about quarantines at individual schools out of privacy concerns.

“We’ve got to be really careful protecting individual cases,” Jara told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Thursday.

He said the district’s online COVID-19 case tracker provides general information to the public about the disease’s presence within the district. But the website provides exact figures only for the district as a whole, not individual schools.

Karpel said the privacy of students and staff does not seem to be an issue because no one is asking for the names of those in quarantine.

“I can’t understand how releasing aggregate data that would help people understand what is happening has anything to do with privacy,” Karpel told the newspaper.

The Reno-based Washoe County School District, Nevada’s second largest, makes such information available. So do several of the nation’s largest school districts, including New York City and Chicago.