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's website:
• 267,650 cumulative confirmed cases, up 128 from Tuesday.
• 113.43 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 0.28 from Tuesday.
• 3,073,925 PCR test reports, up 2,756 from Tuesday.
• 8.7% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 75,277 cumulative probable cases, up 73 from Tuesday.
• 14.4% cumulative antigen infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 335,352 recoveries of confirmed and probable cases, up 196 from Tuesday.
• 1,659 active confirmed and probable cases, up three from Tuesday.
• 2,663,300 vaccine doses received, up 11,840 from Tuesday.
• 2,026,945 doses given, up 6,968 from Tuesday.
• 216 hospitalizations, up 12 from Tuesday.
• 40 cases on a ventilator, up three from Tuesday.
• 93 ICU admissions, up six from Tuesday.
• 4,646 confirmed deaths, up two from Tuesday.
• 1,208 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 2,093 nursing home deaths, up one from Tuesday.
• 8,698 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up one from Tuesday.
• 3.14 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 0.72 from Tuesday.
• 118,855 PCR and antigen test reports, up 92 from Tuesday.
• 90,702 private lab reports, up 91 from Tuesday.
• 28,153 public lab reports, up one from Tuesday.
• 8.5% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Tuesday.
• 28 active confirmed cases in Garland County, down three from Tuesday.
• 8,456 recoveries of confirmed cases, up four from Tuesday.
• 1,669 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up two from Tuesday.
• 17 active probable cases in Garland County, up one from Tuesday.
• 214 confirmed deaths, no change from Tuesday.
• 49 probable deaths, no change from Tuesday.
Spring 2021 hospitalizations peaked for a second straight day Wednesday, with the net increase of 12 raising the number of COVID-19 patients in hospitals to 216. Tuesday's net increase of 29 was the largest single-day increase since Jan. 11, the day hospitalizations peaked at 1,371.
Hospitalizations have increased 13% since the start of spring.
Garland County's infection curve has fallen 71% since reaching its spring peak more than two weeks ago. Dr. Gene Shelby, the county's health officer, told the Hot Springs/Garland County COVID-19 Task Force the falling curve is the result of low demand for testing during the Memorial Day weekend.
He said there were four active confirmed cases in the county during the week that followed the 2020 Memorial Day weekend. The county's rolling seven-day average of new polymerase chain reaction-confirmed cases was 2.0 at this time last year. It surged to more than 30 by the end of July, when active confirmed cases approached 250.
"I think we have to anticipate that we will have some increases in cases, but we hope that the vaccinations are really going to make a big difference," Shelby told the task force at its meeting Monday, according to a news release from the city of Hot Springs. "And we certainly need to continue moving forward with vaccinations as that's really the only way we'll be able to slow and be able to eliminate the virus in our community.
" ... The vaccinations have proven to have a higher efficacy, fewer side effects and a longer duration of immunity than anyone would have hoped for a year ago. They are great vaccines, if we can just get everyone to take them."