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COVID-19 update: State has administered 1 million vaccine doses

March 24, 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.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson held his weekly press update Tuesday at the state Capitol. The following stats were posted Tuesday on the Arkansas Department of Health website:

• 258,383 cumulative confirmed cases, up 119 from Monday.

• 133.43 rolling seven-day average of new confirmed cases, down 13.14 from Monday.

• 2,819,737 PCR test reports, up 4,255 from Monday.

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

• 70,563 cumulative probable cases, up 120 from Monday.

• 16.3% cumulative antigen infection rate, down from 16.5% Monday.

• 2,263 active confirmed and probable cases, down 69 from Monday.

• 1,527,220 vaccine doses received, up 68,670 from Monday.

• 874,294 doses given, up 14,387 from Monday.

• 173 hospitalizations, down 11 from Monday.

• 40 cases on a ventilator, down two from Monday.

• 74 ICU patients, up four from Monday.

• 4,433 confirmed deaths, up five from Monday.

• 1,114 probable deaths, down two from Monday.

• 2,053 nursing home deaths, up four from Monday.

• 8,391 cumulative confirmed cases in Garland County, up one from Monday.

• 3.57 rolling seven day average of new confirmed cases in Garland County, down 1.14 from Monday.

• 109,532 PCR and antigen test reports, up 314 from Monday.

• 82,896 private lab reports, up 311 from Monday.

• 26,636 public lab reports, up three from Monday.

• 43 active confirmed cases in Garland County, down nine from Monday.

• 1,589 cumulative probable cases in Garland County, up one from Monday.

• Nine active probable cases in Garland County, up one from Monday.

• 203 confirmed deaths, up one from Monday.

• 48 probable deaths, no change from Monday.

Hutchinson said the state has administered 1 million vaccine doses, moving it closer to meeting his goal of 1.1 million shots by the end of the month.

The total included shots administered through programs in federal prisons and veteran health centers. According to the Health Department website, more than 870,000 doses have been administered through the state program and more than 100,000 through federal programs that send doses directly to pharmacies.

Hutchinson called 1 million doses a significant milestone but said distribution needs to accelerate. About 10% of the state has been fully vaccinated. The Department of Health has said 70% is the threshold for herd immunity.

"I'm not happy with the speed of distribution," he said. "I think we're running into a little bit of continued demand problem, in the sense that as people in their communities see lower case numbers they're less motivated to get a vaccination. When it's your turn, get a shot. It helps our entire state to completely move out of this pandemic."

Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said 60% of his employees at the Health Department have been vaccinated.

"The public has become complacent with the fact we've had such good numbers," he said. "Now is the time to get immunized. We don't wait until the middle of flu season to get vaccinated for flu. We cannot fully and safely economically open up the state without risk of re-triggering this outbreak if we do not have a sufficient number of individuals vaccinated."

Hutchinson initiated Phase 1-C of the state's vaccination plan earlier this month, expanding eligibility to people 16-64 with health conditions that increase their risk of developing complications from COVID-19 and workers in numerous industries. He said the backlog of people in the higher risk and higher priority 1-A and 1-B categories needs to be cleared before he opens up eligibility to the general public.

Cooperative Christian Ministries and Clinic is seeking volunteers for Thursday's vaccination clinic at the Hot Springs Convention Center. Medical and nonmedical volunteers are needed for the 2-6 p.m. clinic for underserved populations.

Those who are interested in volunteering can contact Sallie Culbreth at [email protected] or by calling 318-1153, extension 222. Volunteers serving in a medical capacity will need to bring a copy of their credentials.


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