As a service to our readers, The Sentinel-Record publishes updates released by the city of Hot Springs and the state of Arkansas.
The following stats were posted Wednesday on the Arkansas Department of Health website:
• 132,249 cumulative confirmed cases, up 1,423 from Tuesday.
• 1,396.68 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up 13.57 from Tuesday.
• 8.1% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 18,028 cumulative probable cases, up 542 from Tuesday.
• 16.9% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 17.1% from Tuesday.
• 17,014 active confirmed and probable cases, down 43 from Tuesday.
• 130,818 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 1,987 from Tuesday.
• 1,028 hospitalizations, up 40 from Tuesday.
• 191 cases on a ventilator, up 31 from Tuesday.
• 2,227 confirmed deaths, up 19 from Tuesday.
• 198 probable deaths, up one from Tuesday.
• 1,026 nursing home deaths, up 11 from Tuesday.
• 3,368 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up 50 from Tuesday.
• 43.57 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up 4.14 from Tuesday.
• 51,930 PCR and antigen test reports, up 464 from Tuesday.
• 36,905 private lab reports, 410 from Tuesday.
• 15,025 public lab reports, 54 from Tuesday.
• 6.8% cumulative PCR infection rate.
• 367 active confirmed cases in Garland County, up three from Tuesday.
• 2,903 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up 48 from Tuesday.
• 265 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up four from Tuesday.
• 64 active probable cases in Garland County, down five from Tuesday.
• 98 confirmed deaths, down one from Tuesday.
• Five probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
No new deaths have been reported in area nursing homes that recently saw sharp rises in COVID-19-related resident deaths, according to the report the Health Department updated Monday.
The Nov. 16 update showed 17 combined deaths had been reported at The Pines Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, 524 Carpenter Dam Road, and Quapaw Care and Rehabilitation Center, 138 Brighton Terrace, since the Nov. 6 update. Fourteen cumulative resident deaths have been reported at the former facility and nine at the latter.
At least 20 resident deaths have been reported at Hot Springs Nursing and Rehab -- A Waters Community, 552 Golf Links Road. Five have been reported at Lake Hamilton Health and Rehab, 122 Pittman Road. The former hasn't appeared on recent Health Department reports that list nursing homes with new or additional cases in the last 14 days.
Monday's update reported 14 active resident cases and seven active staff cases at The Pines. Earlier updates showed more than 100 active staff and resident cases at the facility. Quapaw had fewer than 15 active resident and staff cases, according to the most recent report, down from the more than 40 reported in the Nov. 16 update.
Lake Hamilton Health and Rehab had 27 active resident and staff cases as of Monday, the same number reported in the previous update.
The stabilization is part of the reduction in new infections reported in Garland County last week. According to information shared Monday with the task force organizing the local response to the pandemic, the 282 new cases reported last week were down from the 382 reported the previous week. Last week's positivity rate was 10.7%, down from the previous week's high of 16.1%.
Dr. Gene Shelby, the county's health officer, warned against large Thanksgiving gatherings that give the virus more pathways to spread.
"We have seen bumps up in COVID cases after holidays this year, and we've gone on plateaus afterward," he told the task force. "We just have to hope and pray that we do not have bumps after Thanksgiving and Christmas.
"Everyone should be careful with the number of people they are around this holiday. The recommendation is 10 or less for gatherings, outdoors as much as possible. If you cannot be outdoors, open your windows and turn your heat on so that you've got some air circulation. Simple stuff, but it's real important as we move forward with this."
Hospitalizations peaked for the fourth day in a row Wednesday, eclipsing 1,000 for the first time during the pandemic. The number of patients on ventilators increased 19% Wednesday, reaching an all-time high of 191.
The state's infection curve peaked for the 18th time in 20 days Wednesday. The 50 new confirmed cases reported in Garland County Wednesday raised its infection curve more than 10%. Those cases replaced the 21 reported the previous Wednesday in the rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases. Wednesday's 43.57 moving average was more than 8% lower than the peak reached Nov. 14 and 17.