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There are currently over 15,000 active COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, as the state’s vaccination rate remains low, and the country faces the rapid spread of the highly contagious Delta variant.

Statewide, total active cases (confirmed and probable) rose to 15,491 Tuesday, an increase of 864 in a day and 7,624 in a week, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Hospitalizations rose to 1,025, up by 45 in a day and 210 in a week. Statewide, 205 patients were on ventilators Tuesday, an increase of 33 from Monday and 74 from July 20.

The ADH reported 10 new deaths from confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 Tuesday. The additional deaths bring the death toll in Arkansas to 6,087, up 80 in a week.

Total cumulative cases increased by 2,052 Tuesday, for a total of 378,023, according to the ADH.

Despite the state’s soaring cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday while appearing on CNN’s State of the Union Monday that he is not considering imposing a new mask mandate for Arkansas. The CDC has encouraged both vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals to wear a mask in areas where transmission is high to prevent spreading the virus.

Getting a vaccine is the best way to protect oneself and others, especially from severe illness and death, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. According to CDC data, 95% of those hospitalized nationwide as of July 19 were unvaccinated individuals, while rare breakthrough infections in vaccinated people tend to cause far less severe illness than in the unvaccinated.

Still, amid the rapid spread of the virulent Delta variant, CDC officials released new guidance Tuesday advising all individuals, regardless of vaccination status, to wear a mask indoors in areas with “high” or “substantial” community transmission. As of Wednesday, Arkansas was one of two states in which every county was ranked “high.”

State health officials had administered just over 2.3 million vaccine doses to Arkansans by Tuesday, according to the ADH, with 286,004 people partially immunized and 1,048,341 people fully immunized. Approximately 9,000 new doses were administered between Monday and Tuesday.

Just over a million Arkansans have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, representing about 35% of the state’s total population. About 49.2% of the U.S. population has been fully vaccinated nationwide, according to the CDC.

About 82% of Arkansas’ vaccine supply — 2,812,930 doses — had been distributed by Tuesday.

Washington County reported 980 total active cases (confirmed and probable), and 33,377 total cumulative cases Monday. Benton County reported 1,180 total active cases and 32,023 total cumulative cases Monday, according to the ADH.

Total active cases increased by 17 in a day and 280 in a week in Washington County. In Benton County, active cases rose by 64 in a day and 349 in a week. Total cumulative cases in the two counties increased by 731 and 895, respectively, in a week.

The UA COVID-19 Dashboard has not been updated with data on active cases, recoveries and testing numbers since July 1.

Of the 40,210 recorded tests performed on campus since Aug. 10, a total of 1,415 have been positive, for a cumulative positivity rate of 3.5%.

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