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:
• 261,802 cumulative confirmed cases, up 198 from Tuesday.
• 139.29 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up 9.58 from Tuesday.
• 2,940,103 PCR test reports, up 5,634 from Tuesday.
• 8.9% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 72,259 cumulative probable cases, up 154 from Tuesday.
• 15.5% cumulative antigen infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 1,943 active confirmed and probable cases, up 139 from Tuesday.
• 326,356 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 211 from Tuesday.
• 2,352,980 vaccine doses received, up 61,360 from Tuesday.
• 1,579,051 doses given, up 20,706 from Tuesday.
• 175 hospitalizations, down two from Tuesday.
• 24 cases on a ventilator, no change from Tuesday.
• 66 ICU patients, up four from Tuesday.
• 4,532 confirmed deaths, up two from Tuesday.
• 1,176 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 2,071 nursing home deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 8,488 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up two from Tuesday.
• 3.0 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up 0.14 from Tuesday.
• 114,623 PCR and antigen test reports, up 358 from Tuesday.
• 86,707 private lab reports, up 354 from Tuesday.
• 27,916 public lab reports, up four from Tuesday.
• 8.6% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 23 active confirmed cases in Garland County, up two from Tuesday.
• 8,255 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, no change from Tuesday.
• 1,598 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up two from Tuesday.
• 210 confirmed deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 49 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
The polymerase chain reaction-confirmed infection curve has risen 44% in the last three weeks, with the 198 new PCR-confirmed infections reported Wednesday replacing the 131 added to the rolling seven-day average the previous Wednesday.
"The increase in new cases from today's report is a serious reminder of the importance to get vaccinated," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday in a news release. "It is also a reminder that the virus is still here along with the more contagious variants. Our best defense is the vaccine. We have plenty of doses available, so if you're 16 and older, schedule your appointment today."
Wednesday's 139.29 average included the 216 PCR-confirmed cases reported April 15, the highest single-day count since the 258 confirmed cases reported March 25. Today's average won't include the 216 cases. The moving average peaked on Jan. 11 at 2,160.43.
Garland County's rolling seven-day average reached three Wednesday for the first time this month. It was at six at the end of March and peaked at 110.71 in early January.
Dr. Gene Shelby, the county's health officer, said vaccines have put downward pressure on the county's infection curve.
"I want to applaud all of the people who have worked on the vaccination distribution in Garland County," he told the task force organizing the local response to the pandemic, according to a city of Hot Springs news release from Monday's task force meeting. "You've saved lives, and it really has made a huge difference. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of continuing to push forward with the vaccination program."