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COVID-19 update: Surge in infection curve finally abates

February 11, 2021 at 4:00 a.m.
This illustration provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in January 2020 shows the 2019 Novel Coronavirus (2019-nCoV). - Image by CDC via The Associated Press

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:

• 245,865 cumulative confirmed cases, up 632 from Tuesday.

• 971.43 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 157.14 from Tuesday.

• 2,552,254 PCR test reports, up 9,820 from Tuesday.

• 9.6% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.

• 602,075 vaccine doses received, up 200 from Tuesday.

• 404,695 doses given, up 12,483 from Tuesday.

• 64,075 cumulative probable cases, up 460 from Tuesday.

• 18.8% cumulative antigen infection rate, no change from Tuesday.

• 14,190 active confirmed and probable cases, down 708 from Tuesday.

• 290,548 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 1,774 from Tuesday.

• 735 hospitalizations, down 40 from Tuesday.

• 138 cases on a ventilator, up one from Tuesday.

• 283 ICU admissions, up seven from Tuesday.

• 4,144 confirmed deaths, up 25 from Tuesday.

• 1,030 probable deaths, up one from Tuesday.

• 1,973 nursing home deaths, up 10 from Tuesday.

• 7,763 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up 18 from Tuesday.

• 63.86 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 21.28 from Tuesday.

• 91,681 PCR and antigen test reports, up 413 from Tuesday.

• 67,973 private lab reports, up 334 from Tuesday.

• 23,708 public lab reports, up 79 from Tuesday.

• 9.6% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.

• 449 active confirmed cases in Garland County, down 36 from Tuesday.

• 7,135 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up 54 from Tuesday.

• 1,389 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up 13 from Tuesday.

• 125 active probable cases in Garland County, up one from Tuesday.

• 179 confirmed deaths, no change from Tuesday.

• 39 probable deaths, up one from Tuesday.

The week-long surge in Garland County's polymerase chain reaction-confirmed infection curve abated Wednesday, with the 18 new confirmed cases the fewest reported this month.

The county's rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases rose more than 120% from Feb. 2 to Tuesday. It fell 25% Wednesday, tracing its lowest point in more than a week.

The county's cumulative PCR infection rate mirrored the state's for a fifth-straight day Wednesday. While the county's cumulative PCR rate has risen more than 17% since the start of the year, Dr. Jose Romero, the state's secretary of health, said Tuesday that the statewide cumulative infection rate for PCR and antigen tests fell below 10% for the first time in three months. The cumulative antigen infection rate has fallen 4% in the last four weeks.

"It's the rate we've been striving to be below," Romero said Tuesday during the state's weekly coronavirus press conference. "It began to tick upward in early November. I'm happy to report today that when combining both the positivity rate for our PCR and our antigen tests we are below that. It means that your efforts are working and that we need to continue with the mitigation strategy."

Wednesday was the fifth-straight day new confirmed cases reported statewide were below 1,000, which hadn't happened since late October. The state's rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases fell below 1,000 Wednesday for the first time since Nov. 8

"Compared to last week, there are over 1,300 fewer new cases and over 2,300 fewer active cases," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Wednesday in a news release. "Our mitigation efforts are working, but we cannot use this as an excuse to relax. This virus can spread rapidly, and we all must work together to defeat it."

Hospitalizations remained below 800 for a fifth-straight day Monday, falling to their lowest level since Nov. 7. National Park Medical Center and CHI St. Vincent Hot Springs told the task force organizing the local response to the pandemic that their COVID-19 admissions were holding steady, according to a news release the city of Hot Springs issued from Monday's task force meeting. CHI St. Vincent said their coronavirus admissions were lower than their counts from December and January.

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