As the number of COVID-19 vaccinations given in Arkansas slowly creeps higher, pediatric cases of the illness have skyrocketed in the state this summer.
There were 92% more new COVID-19 cases in the under-12 age group in August than in January, said Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday, in his 200th press conference since the start of the pandemic. Aside from people ages 12-18, every other age group saw fewer new cases in August than in January.
Hutchinson said that the data was a testament to the power of the vaccine and the importance of getting vaccinated to protect those too young to do so.
“With each subsequent age group, as the vaccination rates increase, the case rates decrease in every age group,” Hutchinson said. “And it certainly tells you the story.”
Hutchinson also noted that over 91% of the Arkansans hospitalized for COVID-19 since Feb. 1 were unvaccinated, as were nearly 90% of those who died from the disease.
Statewide, total active cases of COVID-19 (confirmed and probable) fell to 17,084 Tuesday, a decrease of 737 in a day and 2,710 in a week, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Total cumulative cases increased by 1,544 Tuesday, for a total of 477,191, according to the ADH. That number rose by 11,876 in a week.
The ADH reported 36 new deaths from confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The additional deaths bring the toll in Arkansas to 7,334, up 226 in a week.
Hospitalizations in Arkansas dropped to 1,097 Tuesday, down 16 in a day and 131 in a week, according to the ADH. Statewide, 281 patients were on ventilators Tuesday, an decrease of five from Monday and 40 from Sept. 7.
State health officials had administered about 2.8 million vaccine doses to Arkansans by Tuesday, according to the ADH, with 312,002 people partially immunized and over 1.28 million people fully immunized. Approximately 6,771 new doses were administered between Monday and Tuesday, with over 52,000 administered in a week.
The more than 1.28 million fully vaccinated Arkansans represent about 42.6% of the state’s total population. About 54% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
77% of Arkansas’ vaccine supply — over 3.6 million doses — had been administered by Tuesday.
Washington County reported 1,113 total active cases (confirmed and probable), and 41,827 total cumulative cases Tuesday. Benton County reported 1,175 total active cases and 39,380 total cumulative cases Monday, according to the ADH.
Total active cases rose by 90 in a day, but fell by 423 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, active cases fell by 28 in a day and 141 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 876 and 898, respectively, in a week.
Active on-campus cases at the UofA fell to 78 during the reporting period of Thursday-Sunday, with 23 new cases recorded, according to the Pat Walker Health Center.
Of the new cases at the UofA, four were identified through on-campus testing, and 19 were self-reported, according to the dashboard’s spreadsheet. Of active cases, 70 were students, three were staff members, three were graduate assistants, one was a faculty member and one was not identified.
Twenty-five of 431 on-campus tests were positive during the week of Sept. 6-Sept. 12, generating a positivity rate of 5.8%. On a scale of COVID-19 transmission risk in schools, the CDC rates any school with a positivity rate between 5-8% in the “moderate” category.
Click the "COVID-19 Dashboard" tab to view the latest on-campus data.