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10 new local COVID cases, active cases reported in three school districts

by Caitlan Butler | February 13, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

Ten new COVID-19 cases were reported Friday in Union County by the Arkansas Department of Health, bringing the cumulative total of cases identified locally to 3,573.

Seven of the new cases were confirmed cases, determined by positive PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests, making 2,766 total confirmed cases identified locally. The other three were probable cases, determined by positive antigen (rapid) tests, making 807 of those identified locally.

Local active cases stayed steady at 165 Friday; they represented 4.6% of all the cases in the county and included 140 confirmed cases and 25 probable cases. There were 3,311 Union County residents considered recovered from the virus Friday, up 10 from Thursday.

A report on COVID cases in educational institutions produced by the ADH on Feb. 11 listed the El Dorado, Smackover-Norphlet and Strong-Huttig school districts as having more than five active cases among students and staff as of Thursday.

According to the report, in the ESD there were 12 active COVID-19 cases as of Feb. 11, seven fewer than were reported on Feb. 8. A total of 277 cases have been identified in the district, including 87 in staff and faculty and 180 in students. In the past week, 14 new cases have been identified in the district, according to data from previous COVID school reports.

In the SNSD, there were seven active COVID cases reported as of Feb. 11, no change from the number reported on Feb. 8. In total, 136 cases have been identified in the district, including 29 in staff and faculty and 101 in students. Since Feb. 4, seven cases have been identified in the SNSD.

Five active COVID cases were reported in the SHSD, which hasn’t been included in a COVID school report since Sept. 30, 2020, when only eight cases had been identified in students and staff. Now, 24 cases have been identified in the district, including 10 in staff and faculty and 13 in students.

No new local deaths caused by COVID-19 were reported Friday. Ninety-seven Union County residents have died as a result of the virus. There were 134 people hospitalized Friday in the Southwest hospital region of the state, where Union County sits, including 50 in intensive care units and 19 on ventilator support.

According to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, as of Feb. 8, the 14-day new infection rate in the Southwest public health region, where Union County is located, was up 2.1% from the week prior, while active cases in schools were down 8.5% and the seven-day total of new hospitalizations was down 17.5%.

The ADH reported 147 new negative test results returned from Union County Friday. In all, 28,899 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 25,326 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 12.4%.

In Arkansas, the addition of 565 new COVID-19 cases Friday brought the cumulative total of cases identified in the state to 311,608. The cases in the state included 247,028 confirmed cases, up 439 from Thursday, and 64,580 probable cases, up 126 from Thursday.

The number of active cases in the state dropped by 945 Friday to reach 12,573; they represented 4% of all the cases identified in Arkansas and included 8,704 confirmed cases and 3,869 probable cases. There were 293,796 Arkansans considered recovered from the virus Friday, up 1,498 from Thursday.

The deaths of 13 Arkansans that resulted from COVID-19 were reported Friday, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,212, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.7%. There were 712 Arkansans hospitalized Friday due to the virus, including 258 in ICUs and 123 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 8,490 new COVID-19 test results returned Friday and 146,161 results returned so far this month. Since the state began testing for the virus, 2,975,434 results have returned to the ADH, including 2,652,596 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 10.5%.

As of Friday afternoon, approximately 452,208 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID-19 vaccines had been administered in Arkansas. The state had received a total of 718,200 vaccine doses by then, according to the ADH.

At 1:30 p.m. Friday, Johns Hopkins University reported 27,432,711 COVID-19 cases in the United States. Data wasn’t available then on the number of U.S. residents considered recovered from the virus or the number of active cases in the country. There had been 476,628 deaths attributable to the virus reported in the U.S. by Friday afternoon, indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Johns Hopkins reported 108,015,884 COVID-19 cases worldwide Friday afternoon. There were 60,451,905 people considered recovered from the virus then, leaving 45,189,564 cases — 41.8% — active around the world. There had been 2,374,415 deaths attributable to the virus reported by Friday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

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