Jan 12, 2022 - News

Arkansas COVID-19 cases have doubled in one week

Source: Northwest Arkansas Council; Chart: Alex Golden/Axios
Source: Northwest Arkansas Council; Chart: Alex Golden/Axios

Twice as many Arkansans have COVID-19 than a week ago, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday during a news conference.

Why it matters: More cases equals more hospitalizations. And hospitals are rapidly seeing more admissions for COVID-19.

By the numbers: The state had 64,735 active cases as of Tuesday, compared to 32,280 on Jan. 4.

  • Arkansas also had 1,148 hospitalized COVID-19 patients, compared to 775 on Jan. 4. That’s a 48% increase.
  • About 86% of those hospitalized with the virus since Feb. 1, 2021, were not fully vaccinated.
  • The Arkansas American Rescue Plan Act Steering Committee on Monday approved emergency spending of $50.1 million to add 265 hospital beds.

What about the kids: José Romero, the state's health secretary, reiterated during the news conference that COVID-19 is not a benign disease in children, and children could have long-term health effects if they get the virus.

  • Arkansas had 50 kids hospitalized with COVID-19 in December and has already had 41 kids hospitalized so far this month.
  • School staff are overwhelmed not just with students and staff absences but with data entry. For now, schools do not have to report probable close contacts to the health department, the state’s education secretary Johnny Key said.
  • Only 10% of children ages 5–11 in Arkansas are fully vaccinated, Romero said.

Zoom in: The Arkansas Department of Health reported Monday that the Rogers school district had 226 active cases.

  • Bentonville had 206 active cases, and Springdale had 181. Fayetteville — the only one of the four with a mask mandate — had 26 active cases.

Go deeper: See the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement's map showing infection rates by school district.

The testing situation: Arkansas should soon have more than 600,000 of the 1.5 million rapid tests it ordered to be delivered around the state and offered for free, Hutchinson said.

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