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:
• 262,607 cumulative confirmed cases, up 179 from Tuesday.
• 115 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up down 2.71 from Tuesday.
• 2,964,425 PCR test reports, up 6,106 from Tuesday.
• 8.9% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 72,682 cumulative probable cases, up 112 from Tuesday.
• 15.3% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 15.4% Tuesday.
• 1,908 active confirmed and probable cases, up 64 from Tuesday.
• 327,599 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 226 from Tuesday.
• 2,506,380 vaccine doses received, up 11,600 from Tuesday.
• 1,680,145 doses given, up 18,224 from Tuesday.
• 165 hospitalizations, up eight from Tuesday.
• 27 cases on a ventilator, up one from Tuesday.
• 73 ICU patients, up three from Tuesday.
• 4,547 confirmed deaths, up one from Tuesday.
• 1,179 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 2,074 nursing home deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 8,514 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up 11 from Tuesday.
• 3.71 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, up 1.28 from Tuesday.
• 115,250 PCR and antigen test reports, up 169 from Tuesday.
• 87,270 private lab reports, up 166 from Tuesday.
• 27,980 public lab reports, up three from Tuesday.
• 8.5% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 32 active confirmed cases in Garland County, up seven from Tuesday.
• 8,272 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up four from Tuesday
• Five active probable cases in Garland County, down one from Tuesday.
• 210 confirmed deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 49 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
The 11 new polymerase chain reaction-confirmed cases reported Wednesday in Garland County were the most in more than a month.
It was the fourth time in 48 days that new infections reported in the county reached double digits, raising the county's PCR-confirmed infection curve to its highest point since March.
At his weekly virus briefing Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted that the statewide infection curve has traced a flat trajectory for more than six weeks.
"We watch that very carefully," he said. "We do not want to be a Michigan. We do not want to see an acceleration of those cases. Continue to get vaccinated."
Hospitalizations have fallen more than 50% in the last six weeks but are up 11% since April 13. The number of COVID-19 patients in intensive care has risen 49% over that time.
"It's hard to get it down from the numbers we are in now," Hutchinson said of hospitalizations. "I'd like to see it even down lower. I'd like to see our cases down lower. It's hard, but it's not going up."
With lower demand for testing and the state pivoting its public health resources from testing to vaccine administration, hospitalizations have become one of the primary tools for measuring the extent of community spread.
"In the early days when we started ramping up our testing, people were getting tested because they wanted to be assured that they did not have COVID," Hutchinson said. "That gave us a higher number. The longer we've lived with this COVID, those level of concerns have diminished. They don't feel threatened by it but will go in and get tested if they feel ill."