State goes four days without virus death
Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health regarding the COVID-19 pandemic contained a dose of good news for state residents.
As of Monday morning, no new deaths related to the novel coronavirus had been reported in the previous four days, holding steady at 5,661.
At the same time, the number of new cases reported in the past week rose by 1,099, bringing the total number to 332,153, including 260,522 lab-confirmed cases.
The last time the state went this long without seeing any COVID-related deaths was a year ago, but state officials warn that now is not the time to abandon caution.
According to Gov. Asa Hutchinson, even as the number of Arkansans vaccinated against COVID-19 continues to rise and the number of active cases of the novel coronavirus continue to fall, all indicators point to continued community spread in the state.
“You have to be mindful that COVID-19 is still in our communities,” Hutchinson said last week, citing a statement from Arkansas Department of Health director Dr. Jose Romero. “And whenever we’re getting people vaccinated, you don’t want to catch COVID-19 when the vaccination is available to you.”
Monday’s report from the state health department indicated that Arkansas has received a total of 2,038,800 doses of COVID-19 vaccines, with 1,398,554 doses administered. As of Monday, 543,473 Arkansans have been fully vaccinated against the virus, while another 358,495 have received at least the initial dose of either the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines.
Speaking during his weekly news conference from Little Rock last Tuesday, Hutchinson gave special emphasis to the state’s minority populations, saying they are “behind in terms of their vaccination as compared to the percent of the population.”
“We want to continue to emphasize the equity of our vaccine distribution and how important it is in every aspect of our communities here in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said.
Statewide, 324,710 people have “recovered,” or been released from quarantine and observation after testing positive for the virus.
On Monday, the ADH reported 1,733 active cases, of which 163 were receiving hospital care, 55 in intensive care and 17 requiring the assistance of a ventilator.
Fifteen of those hospitalized are from the Northwest Arkansas region. That includes 11 intensive care patients, three of whom are on ventilators.
In Carroll County, the number of cases increased by seven in the past week, rising to 2,762, a number that includes 2,343 confirmed cases, 13 active cases, 2,705 reported recoveries and 44 deaths.