In his weekly report to the Hot Springs/Garland County COVID-19 Task Force, Health Officer Dr. Gene Shelby shared that the county continues on a COVID metric plateau.
“We are doing much better than the state as a whole, and our per capita rate is lower than that of all of the more populated counties in the state,” said Shelby. “But we can’t be complacent. We still have this highly contagious virus in our community and we are just starting our winter and holiday seasons when it can spread like wildfire.”
For the week of Nov. 14 – 21, Shelby said there were 54 new positive cases for a daily average of 7.7, compared to 8.6 and 5.6 from the previous two weeks. Testing continues to be steady at 1,052 last week, making the positivity rate 5.1%, compared to 6% and 3.9% from previous weeks. The statistic that rose from the previous week was the number of active cases, which went up by 15 to 92, as of the morning of Monday, Nov. 22. This increase is less than that of the previous week when the statistic rose by 18 to 77.
There were two additional COVID-related deaths reported in Garland County last week, bringing the cumulative total to 399.
“The numbers that give me the most encouragement is the comparison with our metrics this time last year. This week a year ago, we had 282 new positive cases with a positivity rate of 10.7% and 448 active cases,” said Shelby. “This year we have the vaccine, and we wouldn’t be where we are without it. The more people we can get vaccinated, the quicker we can make COVID-19 history.”
The Hot Springs/Garland County COVID-19 Task Force meets bi-weekly, and Shelby provides a weekly Garland County COVID statistic update for the task force.