COVID-19 numbers trend lower but UAMS report predicts a resurgence

by Michael Tilley ([email protected]) 644 views 

The overall trend of fewer new and active cases continued Wednesday (Jan. 27) with the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reporting double-digit declines in hospitalizations and ventilator use. Deaths, however, rose by 52 to 4,742.

The ADH reported 1,777 new known confirmed and probable cases, down more than 700 from the previous Wednesday, but bringing the cumulative total to 288,964. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 472 to 17,686. The ADH also reported 85 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, up from 83 on Tuesday. Hospitalizations fell by 66 to 1,029, well below the record of 1,371 on Jan. 11.

“There are over 700 fewer new cases and over 2,700 fewer active cases than this time last week. Our vaccine distribution efforts remain a top priority while we gradually receive additional doses. The steps we are taking to slow this virus appear to be having an effect. We cannot relax from following health department guidance,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said of Wednesday’s report.

COVID-19 modeling from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) estimates known confirmed and probable cumulative cases will rise to 349,793 and deaths will rise to 5,609 by March 15. The UAMS updates its model every two weeks.

The report said Arkansas continues to experience “a difficult time” with the pandemic and new cases could rise by 15% and hospitalizations could rise by 17% in the next two weeks. UAMS researchers also say the U.K. variant of the virus is likely in Arkansas and because it is much more transmissible, “we should anticipate a resurgence of COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations, and deaths in the next month.”

Vaccines aren’t likely to soon contain the virus, according to the report.

“The mid-term model suggests growth in new COVID-19 cases will continue to be high. We do not expect vaccination programs in the state will have a significant impact on the rate of COVID-19 transmission by the middle of March. However, as we alluded to in our introduction, the long-term projection is very difficult,” noted the report.

New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 230,867 known cumulative PCR cases, with 1,116 new community cases and 24 reported cases in correctional facilities
• 58,097 probable cases, up from 57,460 on Tuesday
• There are 12,292 active cases, down from 12,755 on Tuesday
• There were 9,223 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 3,031 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours.

• 3,839, up 29
• 880 probable COVID-related deaths, up 8

1,029, down 66

157, down 19

Recovered cases

The top five counties with new known cases reported Wednesday were: Pulaski (304), Benton (159), Washington (152), Sebastian (97), and Garland (79). The counties accounted for 44.5% of the 1,777 new confirmed and probable cases.

As of Wednesday at 4 p.m., there were 25,551,884 U.S. cases and 427,844 deaths. Globally, there were 100,670,714 cases and 2,167,894 deaths.