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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks Wednesday Sept. 9 in Little Rock during a COVID-19 briefing at the state Capitol. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

The Arkansas Department of Health reported eight new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Union County, bringing the cumulative number of cases identified in the county to 748.

The ADH also reported three Union County residents’ deaths that were attributable to the virus, a one-day record in COVID-related deaths for the county. Twenty-five local residents have died as a result of 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 3.3%.

Dr. Jose Romero, secretary of the ADH, said there were several outbreaks at nursing homes, including one in El Dorado, that contributed to 11 new deaths that were reported throughout the state Wednesday. An ADH spokesperson told the News-Times they could provide more information about the deaths on Thursday. New nursing home reports had not been published on the ADH website since Sept. 4 as of late Wednesday afternoon.

Of the cumulative cases in the county, 681 were considered recovered Wednesday, up four from Tuesday. Active cases rose by one to reach 42, representing 5.6% of the cumulative case total in the county.

The ADH reported 55 new negative test results returned from Union County Wednesday, indicating a one-day local positivity rate of 12.7% based on the number of new cases and results reported. In all, 8,263 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 7,515 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 9.1%.

Arkansas’ number of confirmed COVID-19 cases grew by 385 to reach a cumulative total of 66,406 Wednesday. Of those, 59,920 were considered recovered, leaving 5,558 cases — 8.4% of the cumulative total — active statewide.

Eleven more Arkansans were added to the state’s COVID-related death toll, which reached 928 Wednesday, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.4%. Two more Arkansans were hospitalized due to the virus Wednesday than were Tuesday, 411 in all; and two fewer Arkansans were on ventilator support Wednesday, 82 in all.

The ADH reported 5,208 new PCR COVID-19 test results returned Wednesday, indicating a one-day positivity rate for the state of 7.4% based on the number of new cases and results reported. The state has received 55,849 PCR test results so far in September.

Hutchinson said 699 antigen (rapid) COVID-19 test results were reported by Wednesday, with 114 positives, indicating a positivity rate of 16.3%. Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted that altogether, 499 new cases were identified, counting both confirmed cases (positive PCR tests) and presumed positives (positive antigen tests).

.Since the state began testing for COVID-19, 788,586 PCR test results have returned to the ADH, including 722,180 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 8.4%.

At 12:45 p.m. Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported 6,334,158 COVID-19 cases in the United States. Of those, 2,359,111 were considered recovered, leaving 3,785,075 cases — 59.8% — active nationwide. There had been 189,972 deaths attributable to the virus in the U.S. by Wednesday, indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 3%.

Johns Hopkins reported 27,628,190 COVID-19 cases worldwide on Wednesday. Of those, 18,590,528 were considered recovered, leaving 8,138,905 cases — 29.4% — active around the world. There had been 898,757 deaths attributable to the virus by Wednesday, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 3.3%.

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