The fluidity of the state's pandemic has the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health increasing the frequency of its COVID-19 updates.
The update it released Thursday said growth rates for new cases, hospitalizations and deaths have slowed from levels that pushed the infection curve to a nonwinter peak Aug. 11 and broke January's record for hospitalizations numerous times last month.
"The pandemic appears to be in a steady state, albeit at relatively high levels," Thursday's update said.
The rolling seven-day average of new cases has fallen from last month's nonwinter peak, but, according to the report, it's matched the average reached Dec. 31 of last year. The moving average for new polymerase chain reaction-confirmed cases peaked 11 days later.
The update said models are forecasting an average of 2,000 new cases a day through the end of the month, with 68,000 new cases predicted by Sept. 28. Daily hospitalizations are expected to decline to 80 or 90, and 1,000 new deaths are predicted by the end of the month.
"New daily deaths will average around 30 a day," the update said.
The update the college released Aug. 24 predicted cumulative deaths would pass 7,000 by the end of August, a marker that wasn't reached until the 34 deaths reported Thursday pushed the total beyond 7,000.
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:
• 458,234 cumulative cases, up 2,453 from Wednesday.
• 2,095.71 rolling seven-day average of new cases, up 19.28 from Wednesday.
• 3,659,076 PCR test reports, up 12,377 from Wednesday.
• 9.4% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.
• 23,077 active cases, up 263 from Wednesday.
• 7,344 active juvenile cases, up 278 from Wednesday.
• 428,040 recoveries, up 2,156 from Wednesday.
• 3,540,770 vaccine doses received, up 8,088 from Wednesday.
• 2,720,870 doses given, up 11,723 from Wednesday.
• 1,290 hospitalizations, down 23 from Wednesday.
• 355 cases on ventilators, down two from Wednesday.
• 534 ICU patients, up 12 from Wednesday.
• 7,003 deaths, up 34 from Wednesday.
• 2,147 nursing home deaths, no change from Wednesday.
• 14,642 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 51 from Wednesday.
• 58 rolling seven-day average of new cases, down 5.57 from Wednesday.
• 144,602 PCR and antigen test reports, up 624 from Wednesday.
• 10.2% cumulative PCR infection rate, no change from Wednesday.
• 628 active cases in Garland County, up four from Wednesday.
• 13,681 recoveries in Garland County, up 46 from Wednesday.
• 333 deaths, up one from Wednesday.