Arkansas reached a grim milestone in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic Thursday, when the state’s death toll from the illness surpassed 7,000 amid the rapid spread of the delta variant.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 7,003 cumulative deaths from COVID-19 Thursday, less than a month and a half after the state passed the 6,000-case mark.
“Today we have reached another grave milestone,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a tweet. “COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 7,000 Arkansans. My heart goes out to every family and friend who has lost a loved one to this virus, and it’s a somber reminder that we must all fight this virus together to save lives.”
Today we have reached another grave milestone. COVID-19 has taken the lives of over 7,000 Arkansans. My heart goes out to every family & friend who has lost a loved one to this virus, and it’s a somber reminder that we must all fight this virus together to save lives. pic.twitter.com/Bn4usV6DWc— Gov. Asa Hutchinson (@AsaHutchinson) September 2, 2021
Hutchinson continues to advocate for vaccines and mask-wearing in his weekly press briefings.
The ADH reported 38 new deaths from confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The additional deaths bring the toll in Arkansas to 7,108, up 174 in a week.
Hospitalizations in Arkansas rose to 1,228 Tuesday, up by eight in a day and 16 in a week, according to the ADH. Statewide, 321 patients were on ventilators Tuesday, an increase of one from Monday and a decrease of 67 from Aug. 31.
Statewide, total active cases (confirmed and probable) fell to 19,794 Tuesday, a decrease of 1,881 in a day and 2,628 in a week, according to the ADH. Total cumulative cases increased by 583 Tuesday, for a total of 465,315, according to the ADH. That number rose by 12,424 in a week.
State health officials had administered about 2.75 million vaccine doses to Arkansans by Tuesday, according to the ADH, with just over 325,363 people partially immunized and about 1.25 million people fully immunized. Approximately 2,540 new doses were administered between Monday and Tuesday, with over 57,000 administered in a week.
The more than 1.25 million fully vaccinated Arkansans represent about 41.5% of the state’s total population. About 53.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
About 77.3% of Arkansas’ vaccine supply — over 3.5 million doses — had been administered by Tuesday.
Washington County reported 1,536 total active cases (confirmed and probable), and 40,951 total cumulative cases Tuesday. Benton County reported 1,316 total active cases and 38,482 total cumulative cases Tuesday, according to the ADH.
Total active cases fell by 161 in a day and 287 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, active cases fell by 120 in a day and 269 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 1,003 and 843, respectively, in a week.
Active on-campus cases at the UofA fell to 137 during the reporting period of Thursday-Sunday, with 36 new cases recorded, according to the Pat Walker Health Center.
Of the new cases at the UofA, 11 were identified through on-campus testing, and 25 were self-reported, according to the dashboard’s spreadsheet. Of active cases, 128 were students, four were faculty members and five were staff members.
During the week of Aug. 30-Sept. 5, 60 of 572 on-campus tests were positive, generating a positivity rate of 10.5%. On a scale of COVID-19 transmission risk in schools, the CDC rates any school with a positivity rate above 10% in the “highest” category.