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There were 43 new COVID-19 cases reported in Union County by the Arkansas Department of Health on Saturday, making the cumulative total of cases identified locally rise to 2,772. The cases in the county included 2,159 confirmed cases, up 36 from Friday, and 613 probable cases, up seven from Saturday.

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.

The number of active cases in the county grew to 317 Saturday, an increase of four from Friday; they represented 11.4% of all the cases identified locally and included 273 confirmed cases and 44 probable cases. There were 2,379 Union County residents considered recovered from the virus Saturday, up 39 from Friday.

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement reported city-level COVID data updated through Jan. 4 this week, including municipalities where more than 10 cases have been identified. Lawson, where fewer than 10 cases have been identified, does not have the number of cases found there enumerated in order to protect the privacy of those who have contracted COVID-19.

According to the ACHI, as of Jan. 4, 16 cases had been identified in Calion, representing 4% of the city’s population; 1,858 cases had been identified in El Dorado, including 235 new cases in the last two weeks, representing 6% of the population; 56 cases had been identified in Huttig, representing 5% of the population; 169 cases had been identified in Junction City, including 23 new cases in the last two weeks, representing 7% of the population; 20 cases had been identified in Mount Holly, representing 5% of the population; 38 cases had been identified in Norphlet, representing 7% of the population; 60 cases had been identified in Smackover, including 21 new in the last two weeks, representing 7% of the population; and 137 cases had been identified in Strong, including 10 new in the last two weeks, representing 8% of the population.

Additionally, the new known infection rate per 10,000 residents over the last two weeks was reported for several cities in Union County. According to the ACHI, in El Dorado, the rate was 75 new cases per 10,000 residents; in Junction City, 92 new cases per 10,000 residents; in Smackover, 21 new cases per 10,000 residents; and in Strong, 57 new cases per 10,000 residents.

No new local deaths attributable to COVID-19 were reported Saturday. Seventy-six Union County residents have died as a result of the virus, including three this week. There were 240 people hospitalized Saturday due to the virus in the Southwest hospital region of the state, where the county sits, including 89 in intensive care units and 42 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 277 new negative test results returned from Union County Saturday. In all, 22,775 COVID-19 test results have returned from Union County, including 20,003 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 12.2%.

Arkansas saw 2,886 new COVID-19 cases reported statewide Saturday, increasing the cumulative total of cases identified in the state to 251,746. The cases in the state Saturday included 204,893 confirmed cases, up 2,151 from Friday, and 46,853 probable cases, up 735 from Friday.

Active cases in the state grew by 532 to reach 27,822, another new high, Saturday; they represented 11.1% of all the cases identified in Arkansas and included 19,136 confirmed cases and 8,686 probable cases. There were 219,887 Arkansans considered recovered from the virus Saturday, up 2,309 from Friday.

The deaths of 44 Arkansans that died as a result of COVID-19 were reported Saturday, bringing the state’s death toll to 4,010, indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.6%. There were 1,346 Arkansans hospitalized due to the virus Saturday, including 426 in ICUs and 223 on ventilator support.

The ADH reported 16,259 new COVID-19 test results returned Saturday, as well as 105,754 tests performed so far in January. Since the state began testing for the virus, 2,442,518 results have returned to the ADH, including 2,182,303 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 10.3%.

Since Dec. 14, 2020, approximately 77,594 doses of the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines have been administered in Arkansas, according to the ADH. The state has received 227,100 doses of the vaccines in total. The first groups eligible for vaccination include health care workers, including EMTs, and nursing home residents and workers.

At 12:45 p.m. Saturday, Johns Hopkins University reported 21,960,822 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 States. By early Saturday afternoon, 370,094 deaths attributable to the virus had been reported in the U.S., indicating a national COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Johns Hopkins reported 89,246,327 COVID-19 cases worldwide Saturday afternoon. There were 49,570,275 people considered recovered from the virus then, leaving 37,756,349 cases — 42.3% — active around the world. There had been 1,919,703 deaths attributable to the virus reported by Saturday afternoon, indicating a global COVID mortality rate of 2.2%.

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