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 Thursday on the Arkansas Department of Health website:
• 259,511 cumulative confirmed cases, up 154 from Wednesday.
• 105.14 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 14.86 from Wednesday.
• 2,864,503 PCR test reports, up 6,580 from Wednesday.
• 9.1% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.
• 71,098 cumulative probable cases, up 57 from Wednesday.
• 15.9% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 16.0% Wednesday.
• 1,724 active confirmed and probable cases, up 29 from Wednesday.
• 323,203 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 171 from Wednesday.
• 168 hospitalizations, up two from Wednesday.
• 26 cases on a ventilator, down one from Wednesday.
• 62 ICU patients, down one from Wednesday.
• 4,489 confirmed deaths, up five from Wednesday.
• 1,147 probable deaths, up five from Wednesday.
• 2,064 nursing home deaths, no change from Wednesday.
• 8,443 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up three from Wednesday.
• 2.43 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 3.57 from Wednesday.
• 111,390 PCR and antigen test reports, up 485 from Wednesday.
• 84,257 private lab reports, up 327 from Wednesday.
• 27,133 public lab reports, up 158 from Wednesday.
• 20 active confirmed cases in Garland County, no change from Wednesday.
• 8,217 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up three from Wednesday.
• 1,591 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up one from Wednesday.
• One active probable cases in Garland County, down one from Wednesday.
• 206 confirmed deaths, no change from Wednesday.
• 49 probable deaths, no change from Wednesday.
The 485 polymerase chain reaction and antigen test reports added to Garland County's testing total Thursday were the most since March 4.
The addition coincided with the four new infections reported in the county Thursday. The three new PCR-confirmed cases replaced the 28 reported the previous Thursday in the rolling seven-day average, dropping Thursday's average to 2.43.
The average peaked at 110.71 on Jan. 11. New PCR infections have been in the single digits 19 out of the last 20 days. The infection curve fell 83% over that time.
The working paper, "Why is all COVID-19 news bad news?" the National Bureau of Economic Research recently published showed 87% of national U.S. media's coverage of the pandemic last year was negative, compared to 51% in international media, 53% in U.S. regional media and 64% in scientific journals.
The paper said coverage was negative, regardless if it was provided by outlets with liberal or conservative audiences. The most read or most shared stories on social media skewed negative. Those stories were more negative than the national media's overall coverage of the pandemic.
The report said the media was responding to consumer demand for negative stories.