Active COVID-19 cases in Arkansas are trending decidedly upward as the holiday season advances, and Gov. Asa Hutchinson continues to recommend that all eligible Arkansans, especially those over 65, get their booster shots or initial vaccine doses.
In his weekly media briefing, Hutchinson and Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. José Romero warned of the health risks of being unvaccinated as cases continue surging following a months-long decline and a Nov. 9 trough.
“It’s clear that those individuals who are not vaccinated are making up the bulk of the hospitalizations,” Romero said.
Statewide, active COVID-19 cases rose to 7,419 Tuesday, an increase of 249 in a day and 1,715 in a week, according to the ADH. A tweet from the ADH Twitter account listed the active case total at 7,414. It is unclear which number is accurate. Total cumulative cases increased by 932 Tuesday, for a total of 534,590. That number rose by 5,752 in a week.
The ADH reported 24 new deaths from COVID-19 Tuesday. The additional deaths bring the toll in Arkansas to 8,776, up 99 in a week.
Hospitalizations in Arkansas rose to 456 Tuesday, up four in a day and 47 in a week, according to the ADH. Statewide, 85 patients were on ventilators Tuesday, an increase of six from Monday and 12 from Nov. 30.
State health officials had administered more than 3.49 million vaccine doses to Arkansans by Tuesday, according to the ADH, with 333,328 people partially immunized and over 1.46 million people fully immunized. Officials administered 17,052 new doses — including third and booster doses —between Monday and Tuesday, with 80,466 administered in a week.
The more than 1.46 million fully vaccinated Arkansans represent 51.4% of the state’s 5-and-up population. Almost 64% of Americans 5 and older have been fully vaccinated, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Eighty percent of Arkansas’ vaccine supply — over 4.3 million doses — had been administered by Tuesday.
Washington County officials reported 462 total active cases and 46,100 total cumulative cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. Benton County reported 619 total active cases and 44,431 total cumulative cases, according to the ADH.
Total active cases rose by four in a day and 87 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, active cases fell by five in a day but rose by 103 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 384 and 518, respectively, in a week.
There were 23 active COVID-19 cases on the UA campus during last week’s reporting period, according to the Pat Walker Health Center COVID-19 Dashboard. Of the active cases, 15 were students, seven were staff and one was a faculty member.
PWHC officials recorded 22 new cases last week, 12 of which were self-reported and 10 of which were identified through on-campus testing. An additional 404 tests came back negative, for a weekly positivity rate of 2.4%.