Jul 19, 2021 - COVID

National COVID-19 case surge threatens Northwest Arkansas

Illustration of a band-aid with a question mark pattern
Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The same week NWA ranked as the fourth best place to live in the U.S., the Natural State made national headlines for a surge in COVID-19 cases.

  • Gov. Asa Hutchinson took a road trip to combat vaccine hesitancy by meeting with Arkansans face-to-face.

Reality check: The surge is real and NWA is right on the edge of a national hot spot to the north, according to the New York Times' tracker.

By the numbers: Hospitals in NWA had a total of 60 COVID-19 patients as of Friday.

  • Officials say we're doubling the number of hospitalizations every 20 days.

Zoom out: The state had a total of 9,750 active cases Sunday afternoon and the highest case rate in the U.S. at 34 per 100,000 residents.

What they're saying: "What I'm concerned about now is we'll have a rise or surge, then winter is going to add another surge, so we're going to have a surge on top of a surge," José R. Romero, Arkansas' secretary of health, told The New York Times.

The bottom line hasn't changed: Most of the people in the hospital are unvaccinated. Just 40% of the state's population 12 and older are fully vaccinated.

Of note: The mayor of Springfield, Missouri, where cases are also surging, appeared on CBS' "Face the Nation," saying that misinformation about the vaccine and the city's function as a transportation hub have contributed to the uptick there.

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