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COVID-19 update: CHI announces expanded visitation

February 23, 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 Monday on the Arkansas Department of Health website:

• 249,847 cumulative confirmed cases, up 195 from Sunday.

• 213.71 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 10.86 from Sunday.

• 2,605,058 PCR test reports, up 2,416 from Sunday.

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

• 691,525 vaccine doses received, no change from Sunday.

• 487,212 doses given, up 3,988 from Sunday.

• 65,912 cumulative probable cases, up 50 from Sunday.

• 18% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 18.1% Sunday.

• 4,899 active confirmed and probable cases, down 771 from Sunday.

• 305,470 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 1,010 from Sunday.

• 588 hospitalizations, up 11 from Sunday.

• 109 cases on a ventilator, down five from Sunday.

• 225 ICU cases, up six from Sunday.

• 4,311 confirmed deaths, up five from Sunday.

• 1,052 probable deaths, up one from Sunday.

• 8,055 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up 21 from Sunday.

• 21.14 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 0.29 from Sunday.

• 94,458 PCR and antigen test reports, up 145 from Sunday.

• 70,256 private lab reports, up 142 from Sunday.

• 24,202 public lab reports, up three from Sunday.

• 9.8% cumulative PCR infection rate, up from 9.7% Sunday.

• 234 active confirmed cases in Garland County, down three from Sunday.

• 7,630 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up 23 from Sunday.

• 1,442 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up two from Sunday.

• 47 active probable cases in Garland County, down nine from Sunday.

• 191 confirmed deaths, no change from Sunday.

• 40 probable deaths, no change from Sunday.

CHI St. Vincent announced expanded visitation Monday, a change reflecting a drop in COVID-19 admissions.

"CHI St. Vincent has expanded visitation policies at hospitals across the ministry to allow more than one visitor a day, overnight stays and additional visitation related to certain procedures," the hospital system said Monday in a news release. "The change in policy follows a steady decrease in the number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 and declining positive community test results.

"CHI St. Vincent patients will still be limited to one visitor at a time and patients not being treated in the ICU will be allowed one overnight visitor."

The statewide and county polymerase chain reaction-confirmed infection curves have fallen 90% and 80%, respectively, since peaking Jan. 11. Hospitalizations have fallen almost 60% since then.

But the state and county's surveillance has also fallen. The state's cumulative PCR infection rate has risen 1% since new infections peaked last month. The county's has risen 15% over that time. The state hasn't received more than 10,000 PCR tests reports since Feb. 11, and the county's testing numbers fell significantly during last week's winter storms.

About 1,100 test reports were added to the county's testing total last week, a more than 50% drop from earlier weeks. Fewer than 90 public lab reports, which show results from specimens collected at the county health unit, were added last week.

More than 100 new infections were reported in the county Wednesday, the only day last week when a typical amount of test reports were added to the county total. The new infections led the state and accounted for 15% of new infections reported statewide Wednesday.

The more than 20 new infections reported Monday in the county ranked second statewide, trailing only Pulaski County.

"New and active cases continue to remain lower than we've seen in the past few weeks," Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday in a news release. "We're distributing vaccine doses throughout the state and encourage those who are eligible to make sure they're signed up. We expect vaccine and testing numbers to increase this week with clear roads across the state."

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