Arkansas is top state in nation for new COVID cases
The state of Arkansas has led the country in new COVID-19 cases per
capita in the last two weeks. Officials have attributed the increase
of positive cases to the low vaccination percentage in the state,
particularly the rural communities. Historically, rural communities,
which in Arkansas is comprised of 42 percent, are hard to reach with
vaccination programs.During a recent Community COVID Conversation,
Governor Asa Hutchinson stated the Delta variant was spreading at
“warp speed” across Arkansas.
“It is more contagious. It is more transmissible. And it can lead to
hospitalization more quickly,” the governor said. Through the
Community COVID Conversation, Hutchinson is trying to reach people
within rural communities before the Delta variant spreads to these
“Let me describe the challenge we face. One month ago, our active
COVID cases had declined along with our hospitalizations. We were
increasing our vaccinations across the state, and we were very
optimistic about the return to normalcy...And then during the last
month, we saw our rate of vaccinations stall at about 40 percent, and
the Delta variant showed up, a right-left punch that has led to a
dramatic increase in the daily number of new COVID cases, along with
an increase in hospitalizations,” said Hutchinson.
Over the weekend, numbers increased to 565 people hospitalized in
Arkansas on Monday and the state’s daily cases has more than
doubled in the past two weeks. The Delta variant may account for more
than 80 percent of the new infections according to data compiled from
the Outbreak.info tracker. At time of press, more than 7,200 Arkansans
are infected with the virus.
There were 288 new cases reported on Monday, 965 reported on Sunday
and 760 cases on Saturday.
“The most powerful incentive is the reality that if Arkansas
doesn’t significantly increase its rate of vaccinations, we won’t
be getting rid of COVID-19 and its spinoffs anytime soon,” stated
He continued, “In Arkansas, we have chosen the path of personal
responsibility. The state is wide open. We aren’t mandating masks or
vaccinations. We know what we must do, and for the most part,
Arkansans have done the hard work. The big task before us now is to
vaccinate more Arkansans.”
“The three vaccines are effective against all the COVID variants,
including the Delta variant. The vaccine reduces the symptoms in those
who do catch it; 90 percent of those who get the vaccine are not
hospitalized, and the vaccine cuts the chance of death to almost zero.
More than 50 percent of the population of Bradley County has been
fully vaccinated. In the coming weeks, I expect more counties to
reach that interim goal that I set, and then we can go up from
there,” concluded the governor.
At press time, Scott County had 51 active COVID-19 cases. For new
case and vaccination statistics, visit www.healthy.arkansas.gov.