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One COVID-caused death reported locally as state sees highest one-day increase in deaths yet

by Caitlan Butler | November 16, 2020 at 8:30 p.m.

There were 11 new COVID-19 cases reported by the Arkansas Department of Health in Union County Monday, bringing the cumulative total of cases identified locally to 1,347. The cases in the county Monday included 1,170 confirmed cases, up nine from Sunday, and 177 probable cases, up two from Sunday.

According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests that determine confirmed cases are more sensitive than the antigen tests that determine probable cases.

A Union County resident died as a result of COVID-19 between Sunday and Monday. There have now been 55 local deaths caused by the virus, indicating a local COVID mortality rate — the percentage of those who have contracted the virus and died as a result of it — of 4.1%.

Active cases stayed steady in Union County at 82 Monday, representing 6.1% of all the cases identified locally; the active cases in the county included 61 confirmed cases and 21 probable cases. There were 1,210 Union County residents considered recovered from the virus Monday, up 10 from Sunday.

According to a report on COVID-19 cases in educational institutions produced by the ADH on Monday, there were 12 active COVID cases in the El Dorado School District. Cumulatively, 54 cases have been identified in the ESD, including 24 in faculty and staff and 30 in students.

There were eight active cases in the Smackover-Norphlet School District, according to the report. In total, 37 COVID-19 cases have been identified in the SNSD, including eight in staff and faculty and 29 in students.

The SNSD announced over the weekend that it would remain closed to in-person instruction until Nov. 30 due to the recent COVID diagnoses of a food service employee; students are asked to complete Alternative Methods of Instruction (AMI) packets available online, through the district or previously distributed to students. School lunches are available on the Norphlet Preschool campus from 10:30 a.m. through 12:30 p.m. every school day this week.

The ADH also reported five active cases in the Parkers Chapel School District, where a cumulative total of eight COVID-19 cases have been identified.

There were 143 people hospitalized in the Southwest public health region of the state, where Union County is located, on Monday, including 54 in intensive care units and 19 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 76 new negative test results returned from Union County Monday, indicating a one-day local positivity rate of 12.6% based on the number of new cases and results reported. In all, 14,667 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 13,320 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 9.2%.

Arkansas added 1,308 COVID-19 cases to its cumulative total Monday, which reached 134,348. The cases in the state Monday included 120,008 confirmed cases, up 1,165 from Sunday, and 14,340 probable cases, up 143 from Sunday.

The ADH reported the deaths of 42 Arkansans that resulted from COVID-19 on Monday, the highest number of deaths recorded in one day in Arkansas yet. The state’s death toll reached 2,225, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson acknowledged the high number of new cases and deaths in a post on Twitter Monday.

“New cases are higher than last Monday & this may indicate we’re in for a tough week. The 42 new deaths is regrettably an all-time high. While there’s good news on the vaccine front, we have to work together to reduce cases, hospitalizations & save lives,” his Tweet read.

The Associated Press reported Tuesday that an ongoing vaccine trial by pharmaceutical company Moderna showed preliminary results of 94.5% effectiveness. The announcement comes on the heels of one from Pfizer, another pharmaceutical company, which reported 90% effectiveness last week in a potential vaccine it is currently studying.

Active cases fell slightly in Arkansas Monday, dropping by 46 to reach 16,485, representing 12.3% of all the cases identified in the state. The active cases in Arkansas on Monday included 12,490 confirmed cases and 3,995 probable cases. There were 115,625 Arkansans considered recovered Monday, up 1,313 from Sunday.

Hospitalizations resulting from COVID-19 increased statewide Monday. There were 861 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus, including 346 in ICUs and 123 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 10,949 new COVID-19 test results returned Monday, indicating a one-day positivity rate for the state of 11.9% based on the number of new cases and results reported. Since the state began testing for COVID-19, 1,613,970 results have returned to the ADH, including 1,477,244 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 8.3%..

At 3 p.m. Monday, Johns Hopkins University reported 11,147,299 COVID-19 cases in the United States. Of those, 4,185,549 people were considered recovered, leaving 6,714,896 cases — 60.2% — active nationwide. There had been 246,854 deaths attributable to the virus in the U.S. by Monday afternoon, indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

Johns Hopkins reported 54,750,781 COVID-19 cases worldwide Monday. Of those, 35,105,160 people were considered recovered, leaving 18,323,601 cases — 33.5% — active around the world. There had been 1,322,020 deaths attributable to the virus by Monday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.4%.


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