New infections reported statewide and in Garland County Wednesday reached their highest levels in almost two weeks, nudging their infection curves from the flat trajectories they had traced in recent weeks.
The 112 new cases reported Wednesday in Garland County were the most since the record 262 reported Aug. 19, raising the rolling seven-day average 13% from Tuesday's moving average. Wednesday's average was the highest since Aug. 25.
State officials warned Tuesday that the Labor Day weekend will open additional pathways of transmission as people break out of their social clusters.
"If we have learned nothing else from the pandemic, COVID-19 loves a holiday party," the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health said in the report it released last month with its updated predictive model.
The net increase of 101 COVID-19 patients in hospitals Wednesday was the largest single-day increase since Aug. 9, pushing hospitalizations above 1,300 for the first time since Friday.
Garland County residents received 642 of the more than 11,000 booster vaccine doses that have been administered statewide, according to a report the Arkansas Department of Health provided Wednesday. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration last month amended the two messenger RNA-based vaccines' use authorizations to allow a third dose for immunocompromised people.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has yet to recommend boosters for the general population, but the Department of Health and Human Services has announced a plan to begin expanding booster eligibility later this month.
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 Wednesday on the Health Department's website:
• 455,781 cumulative cases, up 2,890 from Tuesday.
• 2,076.43 rolling seven-day average of new cases, up 15.57 from Tuesday.
• 3,646,699 PCR test reports, up 13,326 from Tuesday.
• 9.4% cumulative PCR infection rate, up from 9.3% Tuesday.
• 22,814 active cases, up 392 from Tuesday.
• 7,066 active juvenile cases, up 63 from Tuesday.
• 425,884 recoveries, up 2,463 from Tuesday.
• 3,532,690 vaccine doses received, up 10,340 from Tuesday.
• 2,709,147 doses given, up 12,429 from Tuesday.
• 1,313 hospitalizations, up 101 from Tuesday.
• 357 cases on ventilators, down 31 from Tuesday.
• 522 ICU patients, down nine from Tuesday.
• 6,969 deaths, up 35 from Tuesday.
• 2,147 nursing home deaths, up three from Tuesday.
• 14,591 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 112 from Tuesday.
• 63.57 rolling seven-day average of new cases, up 7.43 from Tuesday.
• 143,978 PCR and antigen test reports, up 633 from Tuesday.
• 10.2% cumulative PCR infection rate, up from 10.1% Tuesday.
• 624 active cases in Garland County, up 45 from Tuesday.
• 13,635 recoveries in Garland County, up 63 from Tuesday.
• 332 deaths, up four from Tuesday.