Four more deaths raise county’s total to 38

Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Four more Carroll County residents have died from complications related to COVID-19 in the past week, bringing the county’s death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus to 38.

Statewide, data released by the Arkansas Department of Health showed the death toll has climbed to 4,606 since last week, an increase of nearly 295 in the past seven days for an average of 42 per day.

In Carroll County, the number of cases also continues to rise with 73 reported in the past week, bringing the cumulative total to 2,479 since the pandemic began. Of those, 139 are still classed as “active,” a significant reduction from last week’s total of 192. To date, there have been 2,302 cases classified as recovered.

Statewide, the number of active cases reported Monday morning stood at 19,395, with 1,080 requiring hospitalization. Of those, 345 are in intensive care, with 170 requiring the aid of a ventilator.

The total number of cases in Arkansas has risen to 284,066, including 227,828 lab-confirmed cases and 260,034 reported recoveries.

Looking at the big picture, said Gov. Asa Hutchinson in his weekly news conference on Jan. 19, the most recent numbers indicate an improving trend, even as the cost in lives continues to climb.

“We need to remember that that is a reflection of the cost of the COVID spread and ultimately where a certain percent of the cases leave,” Hutchinson said. “You can see that trend line is pointing downward and some of those will be backfilled a little bit, but that is good news. We have to be mindful that we’ve had some dips in the past and it surges up. We don’t want that to happen again.”

On the vaccination front, the state health department reported Monday that, as of Jan. 24, 218,951 doses have been administered of the state’s supply of 337,350, most given to healthcare workers at hospitals and long-term care facilities under Phase 1-A.

As for the federal dispersal of vaccines for long-term care facilities through pharmacies, the numbers aren’t quite as good, with 6,983 of 49,400 allotted doses — 14.1 percent — having been administered.

“That is the federal partnership that we don’t have as much control over that is lagging behind,” Hutchinson said. “But they have assured me that they have schedules with different long term care facilities to do the vaccination in the coming days and that that will be completed by the end of by the end of the month, which is what our goal was.”

The state is currently operating on the front end of Phase 1-B and has added state residents over the age of 70 and educators to the list of those who may receive vaccines.

The rest of Phase 1-B, which includes food/agricultural workers, firefighters and police not in 1-A, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, child care workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, and essential government workers, is still scheduled to begin next month.

In total, Phase 1-B is expected to include more than 400,000 Arkansans.

Phase 1-C is planned for April.

According to the ADH website, local pharmacies participating in the vaccine effort include Economy Drug in Berryville, Harps Pharmacy in Green Forest, Holiday Island Pharmacy, Poynor Drug in Berryville and Smith Drug & Company in Eureka Springs.

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