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A total of 62 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Union County on Friday by the Arkansas Department of Health, bringing the cumulative total of cases identified in the county to 2,729. COVID-19 cases in Union County Friday included 2,123 confirmed cases, an increase of 58 since Thursday, and 606 probable cases, up four from Thursday.

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.

Two Union County residents’ deaths that resulted from COVID-19 were reported Friday. Seventy-six local residents have now died as a result of the virus, indicating a local COVID mortality rate — the percentage of people who died after contracting the virus — of 2.8%

The number of active cases in Union County increased Friday by 34, growing to 313 total; they represented 11.5% of all the cases in the county Friday and included 272 confirmed cases and 41 probable cases. The number of Union County residents considered recovered from the virus grew to 2,340, an increase of 26 since Thursday.

A report on COVID cases in educational institutions produced by the ADH on Jan. 7 added the Smackover-Norphlet School District and South Arkansas Community College to the list of local schools with active COVID-19 cases.

According to the report, seven cases were active in the SNSD, where 70 cases, including 19 in staff and faculty and 49 in students, have been identified. The number of active cases in the Parkers Chapel School District fell to five; 50 cases have been identified there in total, including 17 in staff and faculty and 31 in students. In the El Dorado School District, 10 cases were active as of Jan. 7, and a total of 161 cases, including 58 in staff and faculty and 99 in students, have been identified.

The ADH reported six active cases at SouthArk as of Jan. 7. In total, 53 cases have been identified at the college, including eight in staff and faculty members and 28 in students, according to the ADH. The most recent update on COVID cases at the college produced by SouthArk on Dec. 18, 2020 listed 54 total cases, 45 in students and nine in employees.

There were 233 people hospitalized Friday in the Southwest hospital region of Arkansas, where Union County sits, including 88 in intensive care units and 40 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 301 new negative test results returned from Union County Friday. In all, 22,455 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 19,726 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 12.2%.

There were 2,944 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide Friday, making 248,860 total cases identified in Arkansas. The cases in the state Friday included 202,742 confirmed cases, up 2,211 from Thursday, and 46,118 probable cases, up 733 from Thursday.

Active cases grew by 1,306 to reach a record 27,290 Friday; they represented 11% of all the cases identified in Arkansas and included 18,564 confirmed cases and 8,726 probable cases. There were 217,578 Arkansans considered recovered from the virus Friday, up 1,598 from Thursday.

The deaths of 40 Arkansans that were a result of COVID-19 were reported on Friday, bringing the state’s death toll to 3,966, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.6%. There were 1,342 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus Friday, including 439 in ICUs and 219 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 14,753 new COVID-19 test results returned Friday and 88,079 results returned so far in January. Since the state began testing for the virus, 2,422,990 results have returned to the ADH, including 2,165,789 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 10.3%.

The ADH also reported Friday that since Dec. 14, 2020, 68,465 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna COVID vaccines have been administered in Arkansas.

At 2:30 p.m. Friday, Johns Hopkins University reported 21,717,216 COVID-19 cases in the United States. Data wasn’t available then on the number of U.S. residents considered recovered or the number of active cases in the U.S. By Friday afternoon, 367,143 deaths attributable to the virus had been reported, indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Johns Hopkins reported 88,505,824 COVID-19 cases worldwide Friday afternoon. There were 49,275,713 people considered recovered from the virus then, leaving 37,323,643 cases — 42.2% — active around the world. There had been 1,906,468 deaths attributable to the virus reported by Friday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

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