Aug 19, 2021 - COVID

Daily COVID-19 cases in Arkansas spike to near all-time high

Illustration of people looking up at large floating viruses

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

The state registered 3,549 new COVID-19 cases within a 24-hour period, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference Thursday. That's among the highest, if not the highest, number of cases the state has seen in a single day since the pandemic began.

Context: Daily new cases began regularly climbing to more than 2,000 in late July with the spread of the Delta variant.

  • This month has seen two other 24-hour periods with more than 3,000 cases: 3,037 cases on Aug. 6 and 3,023 on Aug. 13, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Driving the news: Hutchinson attributed the spike in part to schools restarting after the summer break.

State of play: The state has delivered more than 500,000 high-filtration masks to school districts for kids.

  • Of 262 school districts in Arkansas, 118 have adopted mask mandates, 87 have said no to mask mandates, and 57 have not taken action on the matter, Hutchinson says.

The silver lining: More than half of eligible Arkansans are at least partially vaccinated, a milestone the state reached in the past week.


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