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COVID-19 update: National Guard enlisted to help vaccinate

by David Showers | March 19, 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 Thursday on the Arkansas Department of Health website:

• 257,799 cumulative confirmed cases, up 170 from Wednesday.

• 182.86 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 11.43 from Wednesday.

• 2,799,419 PCR test reports, up 7,957 from Wednesday.

• 9.2% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.

• 70,246 cumulative probable cases, up 94 from Wednesday.

• 16.6% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 16.7% Wednesday.

• 2,734 active confirmed and probable cases, down 74 from Wednesday.

• 1,360,780 vaccine doses received, up 31,610 from Wednesday.

• 815,030 doses given, up 19,643 from Wednesday.

• 245 hospitalizations, down 15 from Wednesday.

• 47 cases on a ventilator, down seven from Wednesday.

• 107 ICU patients, down nine from Wednesday.

• 4,404 confirmed deaths, up four from Wednesday.

• 1,111 probable deaths, up four from Wednesday.

• 2,034 nursing home deaths, up five from Wednesday.

• 8,378 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up eight from Wednesday.

• 9.86 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, no change from Wednesday.

• 108,412 PCR and antigen test reports, up 377 from Wednesday.

• 82,026 private lab reports, up 213 from Wednesday.

• 26,386 public lab reports, up 164 from Wednesday.

• 8.8% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.

• 79 active confirmed cases in Garland County, down six from Wednesday.

• 8,099 recoveries of confirmed cases in Garland County, up 14 from Wednesday.

• 1,585 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, no change from Wednesday.

• Nine active probable cases in Garland County, no change from Wednesday.

• 200 confirmed deaths, no change from Wednesday.

• 47 probable deaths, up one from Wednesday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday that 20 Arkansas Air and Army National Guard members have been enlisted to assist with vaccinations in rural areas.

"With the assistance of the National Guard, we can better reach rural and remote Arkansans with vaccinations that protect our communities and state from COVID-19," State Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said in a news release from the governor's office. "The (Health Department) local health unit staff has been working hard to provide vaccination clinics to their areas, and this assistance will allow them to do that more efficiently while continuing to provide other critical services to Arkansans."

The state's polymerase chain reaction-confirmed infection curve has fallen more than 50% since the end of last month. Thursday's rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases was the lowest since last May, which was two months before its summer peak in late July. The moving average doubled by early December before peaking at 2,160.43 Jan. 11.

Thursday's average was more than 90% lower than the peak.

More than 140 million Americans said their finances can't take another year similar to 2020, according to the Coronavirus Money Survey, https://wallethub.com/credit-cards#survey, the personal finance website WalletHub released Thursday.

The survey said money concerns have surpassed COVID-19 as the country's top cause of stress. Compared to last year, 29 million more people said they will apply for a new credit card in 2021 because of the pandemic. More than 70 million said they expected to have trouble paying their credit card bills this year.

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