The 907 new cases the Arkansas Department of Health reported Thursday were the highest daily total in seven weeks, raising the infection curve for the sixth-straight day.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases has risen eight out of the last nine days, increasing 37% over that time. Active cases rose for the third-straight day, reaching their highest level in more than four weeks. Hospitalizations are at their highest level in two weeks.
Prior to the nine-day uptick, the infection curve had flattened after an 11-week decline from the peak of this summer's delta variant-fueled surge. The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health said the curve leveled off on a higher plateau than the late winter to mid-spring lull.
"This may be because we appear to be far more complacent about practicing good mitigation behavior," the college said in the report it released earlier this week with its updated predictive model. "Fewer of us are wearing masks in public places or maintaining good social distance.
"Furthermore, a goodly number of us still have not been fully vaccinated. The only way to avoid another surge is for increasing numbers of the unvaccinated to be vaccinated. Otherwise, we should expect for Arkansas to have another 2,000 to 3,000 COVID-19 deaths and thousands suffering the long-term effects of the virus."
As a service to our readers, The Sentinel-Record publishes updates released by the city of Hot Springs and the state of Arkansas.
The Arkansas Department of Health is no longer reporting confirmed and probable cases separately. The following stats were posted Thursday on the Health Department's website:
• 522,460 cumulative cases, up 907 from Wednesday.
• 587.43 rolling seven-day average of new cases, up 33.43 from Wednesday.
• 4,181,467 PCR test reports, up 6,563 from Wednesday.
• 9.2% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.
• 5,881 active cases, up 437 from Wednesday.
• 1,708 active juvenile cases, up 114 from Wednesday.
• 507,827 recoveries, up 464 from Wednesday.
• 4,325,790 vaccine doses received, up 15,830 from Wednesday.
• 3,314,393 doses given, up 10,958 from Wednesday.
• 304 hospitalizations, up four from Wednesday.
• 69 cases on ventilators, up one from Wednesday.
• 124 ICU patients, down five from Wednesday.
• 8,599 deaths, up four from Wednesday.
• 2,264 nursing home deaths, up one from Wednesday.
• 16,124 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 12 from Wednesday.
• 8.29 rolling seven-day average of new cases, no change from Wednesday.
• 163,412 PCR and antigen test reports, up 169 from Wednesday.
• 10.2% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.
• 90 active cases in Garland County, up nine from Wednesday.
• 15,636 recoveries in Garland County, up three from Wednesday.
• 398 deaths, no change from Wednesday.