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15 new local COVID cases reported, active cases fall below 100

by Caitlan Butler | February 18, 2021 at 6:00 a.m.

There were 15 new COVID-19 cases reported Wednesday in Union County by the Arkansas Department of Health, bringing the cumulative total of cases identified locally to 3,609. The cases in the county included 2,790 confirmed cases, up 14 from Tuesday, and 819 probable cases, up one from Tuesday.

The United States Centers for Disease Control considers positive results from PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests to be confirmed cases and positive results from antigen (rapid) tests to be probable cases.

Active cases in the county dropped to 98, down nine from Tuesday; they represented 2.7% of all the cases identified locally and included 72 confirmed cases and 26 probable cases. There were 3,413 Union County residents considered recovered from the virus Wednesday, up 24 from Tuesday.

Local health units across the state were closed Wednesday, and COVID-19 testing was not available from those clinics. As the News-Times reported in Wednesday’s edition, drive-through COVID testing was also unavailable at the Medical Center of South Arkansas due to the weather conditions.

No new local deaths caused by COVID-19 were reported Wednesday. Ninety-eight Union County residents have died as a result of the virus. There were 110 people hospitalized Wednesday in the Southwest hospital region of the state, where Union County is located, including 50 in intensive care units and 20 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported four new negative test results returned from Union County Wednesday. In all, 29,128 results have returned from the county, including 25,519 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 12.4%.

Arkansas added 667 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday to its cumulative total, which reached 314,192. The cases in the state included 248,855 confirmed cases, up 410 from Tuesday, and 65,337 probable cases, up 257 from Tuesday.

The ADH advised Arkansans Wednesday that should their appointment for a second dose of the Pfizer or Moderna COVID vaccines be postponed due to the weather, they should be sure to reschedule it.

“Second doses can be administered up to six weeks after the first dose for both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines,” a notice posted on the department’s Twitter account reads.

Active cases fell to 8,239, down 865 from Tuesday; they represented 2.6% of all the cases in the state and included 5,754 confirmed cases and 2,485 probable cases. There were 300,613 Arkansans considered recovered from the virus Wednesday, up 1,506 from Tuesday.

The deaths of 26 Arkansans that were caused by COVID-19 were reported Wednesday, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,313, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.7%. There were 638 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus Wednesday, including 250 in ICUs and 110 on ventilator support.

Since the state began testing for the virus, 3,012,512 results have returned to the ADH, including 2,686,930 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 10.4%.

At 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Johns Hopkins University reported 27,775,159 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 488,921 deaths attributable to the virus reported in the U.S. by Wednesday afternoon, indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 1.8%.

Johns Hopkins reported 109,729,579 COVID-19 cases worldwide Wednesday afternoon. There were 61,729,674 people considered recovered from the virus then, leaving 45,575,008 cases -- 41.5% -- active around the world. There had been 2,424,897 deaths caused by COVID reported by Wednesday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

This story has been updated from the version that appeared in the Feb. 18 print and replica editions of the News-Times with additional information.

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