Coronavirus Graphic

As total confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in Arkansas surpass 80,000 and public schools across the states are hit hard by the virus, UA officials are reporting the lowest number of on-campus active cases since Aug. 26.

The Arkansas Department of health reported 786 new confirmed cases on Monday, for a total of 79,521 cumulative cases. That total rose by 5,235 in one week. Active cases rose to 6,824, a decrease of 141 in a day but an increase of 525 in a week. The ADH reported a cumulative total of 2,528 probable cases Monday, with 318 of those currently active.

On Monday there were 496 patients hospitalized, up by 35 in a day and 49 in a week. Statewide, 99 patients were on ventilators Wednesday, an increase of 13 in a day and a net increase of two in seven days, according to the ADH.

Total deaths rose by 23 in a day and by 135 in a week, for a total of 1,183 on Monday. An additional 146 deaths have probably been caused by the virus, according to the ADH. In total, 71,509 cases were considered inactive by Monday, an increase of 904 from Sunday and 4,575 from Sept. 21.

Across Arkansas, public schools and universities are reeling from the affects of the virus, which has spurred recent closings, cancelations, and protests from teachers.

On Sunday, officials of the Little Rock Education Association teachers’ union notified the Little Rock Public School District that its members, in protest of what they see as inadequate virus prevention measures, would cease reporting to work for in-person classes. The district remained open to in-person instruction Monday, and in a Sunday night letter to parents, Superintendent Mike Poore said there could be disciplinary action taken against absent employees.

The Arkansas Arts Academy 7-12 Campus, a public charter school in Rogers, switched from in-person to fully virtual learning Friday after a case of COVID-19 was was confirmed at the school. Three days earlier, Arkansas Tech University suspended all school athletic activities through at least Oct. 4 after the number of active cases among student athletes reached 52.

Northwest Arkansas continues to be one of the top viral hotspots in Arkansas, although active cases fell slightly Monday.

Washington County reported 397 active cases, 50 probable active cases, 8,902 confirmed cumulative cases, and 555 probable cumulative cases Monday. Benton County reported 361 confirmed active cases, 22 probable active cases, 6,404 confirmed cumulative cases and 181 probable cumulative cases. Confirmed active cases decreased by 21 in a day and by 88 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, they decreased by 13 in a day but increased by 39 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties (confirmed and probable) increased by 451 and 317, respectively.

At the UofA, total active cases fell and recoveries increased in Monday’s COVID-19 data update.

By Monday there were 63 active cases reported on campus, according to the UofA. Of those, 56 were students, one was faculty and six were staff. Active cases fell from 85 on Friday.

Total on-campus cases increased by 13 between Friday and Sunday, according to the data compilation spreadsheet linked to the dashboard. The dashboard itself lists 18 new cases, however. It is unclear which number is accurate.

Four of the new cases were identified through on-campus testing, and nine were self-reported. There were also 38 new recoveries and 193 new tests in the Friday-Sunday reporting period.

Of the 5,997 tests performed on campus, 685 have been positive, for a cumulative positivity rate of 10.3%. There are also 179 test results pending. The World Health Organization recommends that localities see a positivity rate of 5% or less for at least 14 days before reopening, according to the WHO. Arkansas is currently in the second of three phases of economic reopening.

Sarah Komar is the news editor for The Arkansas Traveler, where she previously worked as a staff reporter in 2019 and early 2020.

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