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County sees two-week rise in COVID cases, possible additional boosters for 50+ to come

The following is a news release by the Garland County COVID-19 Task Force on Monday.

Mask up?

Following eight weeks of declining active COVID-19 cases in Garland County, the number rose a second straight week.

The Hot Springs/Garland County COVID-19 Task Force is meeting monthly and did not convene this week, but Health Officer Dr. Gene Shelby provided his weekly COVID-19 statistic update electronically to the group.

For the week of March 20 – 27, there continued to be old reports added by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Shelby said ADH hopes to have all of the old cases entered by the end of this week.

There were 149 new cases added last week, or an average of 21.3 cases per day, up slightly from the previous week’s 19.1 daily average. The number of active cases increased by eight from 25 last week to 33, as of the morning of Monday, March 28. There were 2,021 test results, up from the previous week’s 1,258. The positivity rate improved from 10.3% last week to 7.4%. There were three COVID-related deaths recorded, bringing the cumulative total to 503.

Shelby said he expects the main COVID news this week to be an FDA report concerning possible additional booster shots. “It is reported that they will probably recommend the second booster for all people over 50,” said Shelby.

According to the CDC, wearing a well-fitted mask along with vaccination, self-testing, and physical distancing, helps protect you and others by reducing the chance of spreading COVID-19.

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