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Local Task Force talks July COVID-19 surge that's mimicking last year's


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


Garland County continues to see increasing numbers of new Covid-positive and active cases, and County Health Officer Dr. Gene Shelby said the numbers are tracking very closely to last year’s July surge.


“In addition to having more people vaccinated this year, we are dealing with omicron subvariants rather than last year’s delta. Fortunately, these subvariants tend to cause less severe illness than delta, but are much more contagious,” Shelby wrote in his weekly update to the Hot Springs/Garland County Covid-19 Task Force.


“So, it is not too late to get vaccinated, either the initial doses or boosters. They are all available at the Garland County Health Unit. It appears that Covid-19 is still going to be with us this summer, too.”


For the week ending on July 10, there were 213 new cases reported, compared to the previous weeks’ 137 and 150. The number of active cases was at 325, an increase of 61 from the same time last week.


Representatives from CHI St. Vincent and National Park Medical Center reported having a total of 17 Covid-19 patients Monday morning, up two from last week, with one being in intensive care.


There was one additional Covid-related death reported, bringing the cumulative total to 516.


The Hot Springs/Garland County Covid-19 Task Force is only meeting as needed during the summer months, but Shelby provides his weekly Covid-19 update electronically to the group.