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A record number of new COVID-19 cases were reported in Union County by the Arkansas Department of Health Wednesday. The ADH added 65 cases to the county’s cumulative total, which reached 2,384. The cases in the county Wednesday included 1,819 confirmed cases, up 47 from Tuesday, and 565 probable cases, up 18 from Tuesday.

Confirmed cases are determined by positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, while probable cases are determined by positive antigen tests, per distinctions made by the United States Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

Active cases rose to 278, an increase of 29 from Tuesday; they represented 11.7% of all the cases identified locally and included 204 confirmed cases and 74 probable cases. There were 2,033 Union County residents considered recovered from the virus Wednesday, up 36 from Tuesday.

A report on COVID cases in nursing homes produced by the ADH on Dec. 28 showed several active cases in two local nursing homes.

At Courtyard Healthcare and Rehabilitation, two workers had active cases. The most recent positive test result came on Dec. 15, according to the report. In total, 42 workers and 45 residents have contracted the virus, and eight residents have died as result of it.

At Hudson Memorial Nursing Home, two residents and two workers have active cases, with the most recent positive test results coming Dec. 16. Altogether, 66 residents and 37 workers there have contracted COVID-19, and 21 residents have died as a result.

A report on COVID cases in educational institutions produced by the ADH on Dec. 28 showed fewer active cases in both the El Dorado and Parkers Chapel school districts than were noted in the previous report.

In the ESD, there were 25 active cases as of Dec. 28. A total of 160 cases have been identified in the district, including 53 in staff or faculty and 105 in students. In the PCSD, eight cases remained active. In total, 44 cases have been identified in the district, including 15 in staff or faculty and 26 in students.

No new local deaths attributable to the virus were reported Wednesday; 73 Union County residents have died as a result of COVID-19. In the Southwest hospital region of the state, where the county is located, there were 201 people hospitalized with the virus Wednesday, including 65 in intensive care units and 32 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 144 new negative test results returned from Union County Wednesday, indicating a one-day local positivity rate of 31.1% based on the number of new cases and results reported. In all, 20,561 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 18,177 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 11.6%.

There were 3,184 new COVID-19 cases reported in Arkansas Wednesday, bringing the cumulative total of cases identified in the state to 222,430. The cases in the state included 184,947 confirmed cases, up 2,320 from Tuesday, and 37,483 probable cases, up 864 from Tuesday.

Active cases grew to 21,853 Wednesday, up 672 from Tuesday; they represented 9.8% of all the cases identified in Arkansas and included 15,658 confirmed cases and 6,195 probable cases. There were 196,914 Arkansans considered recovered from the virus Wednesday, up 2,478 from Tuesday.

The deaths of 34 Arkansans that resulted from COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,637, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.6%. There were 1,174 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus Wednesday, a new record, including 385 in intensive care units and 205 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 13,241 new COVID-19 test results returned Wednesday, indicating a one-day positivity rate for the state of 24% based on the number of new cases and results reported. Since the state began testing for the virus, 2,280,851 results have returned to the ADH, including 2,051,068 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 9.8%.

At 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported 19,674,100 COVID-19 cases in the United States. Data wasn’t available on the number of U.S. residents considered recovered or the number of active cases in the U.S. By Wednesday afternoon, 341,059 deaths attributable to the virus had been reported in the U.S., indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Johns Hopkins reported 82,478,918 COVID-19 cases worldwide Wednesday afternoon. There were 46,613,117 people considered recovered from the virus, leaving 34,066,149 cases — 41.3% — active around the world. There had been 1,799,652 deaths caused by the virus by Wednesday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

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