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Case growth slow in county, vaccines available

by Caitlan Butler | May 1, 2021 at 9:44 p.m.

No new COVID-19 cases were reported Saturday in Union County, and since last Sunday, more recoveries have been reported locally than new cases.

As of Saturday, 4,011 COVID-19 cases had been identified in the county, 12 more than had been since last Sunday. Recoveries grew by 14 over the week, reaching 3,873 on Saturday.

There were fewer new cases and recoveries reported last week than were the week before, when 17 new cases and 17 recoveries were reported.

However, two new deaths resulting from COVID-19 were reported in Union County last week, whereas the week prior, no new deaths were reported. In total, 114 Union County residents have died from COVID infections, indicating a local COVID mortality rate – the percentage of people who have contracted the virus and then died as a result – of 2.8%.

The number of active COVID-19 cases in the county mostly fell throughout the week, starting from a high of 28 reported on Sunday and hitting a low of 22 on Thursday. On Saturday, there were 23 COVID-19 active cases in Union County.

By Saturday, 7% of residents in the Southwest Hospital Region of the state, where Union County sits, were partially immunized against COVID, while 24% were fully immunized, an increase of about 1.6 percentage points since last Sunday.

According to Arkansas COVID, a University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media program that has been tracking COVID-19 data in the state, as of April 26, 2,616 Union County residents, or about 8% of the local population, were partially immunized against the virus and 5,720 Union County residents, or 19%, of the population, were fully immunized, up 264 from last Saturday.

Vaccine clinics are scheduled this week and next in the county.

The Union County Local Health Unit will be offering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine this week during clinics scheduled from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.

To schedule a vaccination appointment there, call 1-800-985-6030.. There will be no out-of-pocket charges for vaccination.

Additionally, the Medical Center of South Arkansas will host a clinic on Saturday, May 15 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. John Missionary Baptist Church.

COVID vaccines are also available at Melvin’s Discount Pharmacy and Walmart in Union County. To set an appointment at MCSA, call 870-863-2620; to do so at Melvin’s, call 870-863-4155; and for an appointment at Walmart, visit walmart.com/COVID.

Hospitalizations in the Southwest Region hit their highest point in the last week on Saturday at 24, including 13 in intensive care units and five on ventilator support. The lowest number of hospitalizations in the region last week, 18, was recorded on Sunday and again on Tuesday.

There were 215 COVID-19 test results returned from Union County last week, indicating a seven-day positivity rate of 5.6%. In all, 32,390 test results have returned from the county, including 28,379 negatives, indicating an overall local positivity rate of 12.4%.

Statewide, the addition of 243 new COVID-19 cases reported Saturday brought the cumulative total of cases identified in Arkansas to 335,968. Since last Sunday, 1,262 new cases have been identified in the state.

The number of recoveries in the state grew to 328,135 on Saturday, and in total, 1,124 new recoveries were reported last week.

The deaths of 23 Arkansans were reported last week, bringing the state’s death toll to 5,741 indicating a state COVID mortality rate of 1.7%.

Active cases in the state were at their highest point of the week on Saturday, when 2,036 cases were considered active; they’d hit their lowest point last week on Monday, when 1,805 were recorded.

There were 86,872 vaccine doses administered in Arkansas last week, and in all, 1,730,521 doses have been administered out of 2,515,590 doses received. An additional 57,917 Arkansans met the criteria for fully immunized last week.

As of Saturday, 278,218 Arkansans were partially immunized against the virus and 753,308 were fully immunized.

Hospitalizations in the state hit their highest point last week on Monday, when 170 hospitalizations caused by COVID were recorded. They fell after that, and sat at 168, including 75 in ICUs and 29 on ventilator support as of Saturday.

There were 30,232 COVID-19 test results returned to the ADH last week, indicating a seven-day positivity rate for the state of 4.2%. Since the state began testing for the virus, 3,538,612 COVID-19 test results have returned to the ADH, including 3,189,447 negatives, indicating an overall positivity rate for the state of 9.5%.

Nationally, just over 300,000 new COVID-19 cases were reported last week, along with more than 4,300 deaths related to the virus. On Saturday, there were 32,374,328 cases reported in the United States, along with 576,519 deaths.

Worldwide, almost five million new COVID cases were recorded last week, along with more than 80,000 deaths. As of Saturday, 151,634,732 COVID-19 cases had been identified globally, and 3,184,440 people had died as a result of the virus.

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