Carroll County death toll up 1
39th county resident succumbs to virus

Tuesday, February 2, 2021

One more Carroll County resident has died of complications related to COVID-19 since last week, bringing the death toll in the county to 39.

According to data released by the Arkansas Department of Health on Monday, the number of cases in Carroll County has increased by 101 in the past week to 2,580, including 2,200 laboratory confirmed cases. That cumulative total indicates a 21.5 percent increase since Jan. 4.

To date, the ADH reports 2,397 reported recoveries in the county, along with 144 active cases of the novel coronavirus.

Statewide, the number of cases is approaching 300,000, with Monday’s report showing 295,268 cases, of which 235,668 have been confirmed by lab testing. As of Monday, the ADH said, there are 17,154 active cases in the state.

More than 273,000 are listed as “recovered,” while 4,868 people have died from complications of the virus.

The statewide numbers indicate a 26.5 percent increase in cases since Jan. 4 and a 29.8 percent increase in deaths — 1,119, an average of nearly 40 per day.

“We’ve had a little bit of an uptick,” said Gov. Asa Hutchinson, speaking on Jan. 26 during his weekly news conference in Little Rock. “Our testing is robust with over 10,000 tests, which is a little bit higher than last week, but we still have a larger number of total cases, new cases than we wished for.”

The number of hospitalizations because of the virus across the state now stands at 913, down from 1,080 a week ago, with 272 patients in intensive care, 148 of them requiring the aid of a ventilator.

“We’ve had a reduction in hospitalizations,” Hutchinson said. “It gives them a little more room to function and operate, and that’s pretty much in all areas of the state. But we want to keep that going down instead of going up.”

According to Hutchinson, much of that hope is tied to the state’s vaccination program, which is continuing into Phase 1-B, with initial doses of the vaccine being administered to Arkansans aged 70 and older and educators.

Phase 1-A included healthcare workers and many first responders. The remainder of 1-B, which is projected to include 400,000 Arkansans, is expected to begin later this month, with Phase 1-C scheduled for April.

As of Jan. 31, Arkansas had received 470,600 doses — a number that includes both initial doses and the second, follow-up dose — with 290,886 already distributed.

“That’s to give people confidence that once you’re in the system of having received your first vaccine, the second dose will be there for you,” Hutchinson said. “That’s the basis of the emergency use authorization by the FDA that it’s a two-dose regimen that we want to accomplish.”

Hutchinson added that the number of vaccines the state receives is also constrained by supply.

“We’ve had a consistent supply thus far, but it has not been increasing each week,” Hutchinson said. “Yesterday, I had a personal call with Jeff Zients, who is the director of the Biden Administration Coronavirus Task Force. I discussed this issue with him as to when we can expect an increase in supply. He is hopeful and optimistic that there will be some news in that regard.”

In the meantime, said Hutchinson, “We get it out as soon as we can.”

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