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Public Affairs
Resources for Arkansas COVID-19

The latest Arkansas COVID-19 information and resources.

Daily COVID-19 Updates

2/12/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 439 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 11, for a total of 247,028 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 126 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 64,580 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 8,704 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 234,122 confirmed recoveries. There are 3,869 active probable cases and there have been 59,674 probable recoveries. The total of 12,573 active cases is down 945 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,179 confirmed and 1,033 probable—increased by 13 since yesterday. There are 712 hospitalized patients with 123 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 7,338 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 106,133. Additionally, there were 1,152 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 40,028.

 

Arkansas has received 657,200 doses of vaccine, an increase of 36,125 from yesterday. A total of 430,228 inoculations have been given (65.5% of available doses). This represents an increase of 9,658 since yesterday. The combined federal programs have received 61,000 doses of vaccine, an increase of 11,600 from yesterday, and have given 21,980, an increase of 416 since yesterday, for 36.0% of available doses. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks 17 in new cases and 24 in new deaths over the last seven days, 10th in current hospitalizations, and 27 in total population vaccinated.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

2/11/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 724 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 10, for a total of 246,589 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 379 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 64,454 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 9,343 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 233,057 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,175 active probable cases and there have been 59,241 probable recoveries. The total of 13,518 active cases is down 672 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,165 confirmed and 1,034 probable—increased by 25 since yesterday. There are 712 hospitalized patients with 117 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 11,617 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 98,181. Additionally, there were 1,470 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 37,267.

 

Arkansas has received 621,075 doses of vaccine, an increase of 19,000 from yesterday. A total of 420,570 inoculations have been given (67.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 15,875 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 21,564, an increase of 386 since yesterday, for 43.7% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

2/10/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 632 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 9, for a total of 245,865 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 460 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 64,075 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 9,869 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 231,828 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,321 probable active cases and there have been 58,720 probable recoveries. The total of 14,190 active cases is down 708 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,144 confirmed and 1,030 probable, a combined increase of 26 since yesterday. There are 735 hospitalized patients with 138 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 7,790 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in February to 85,842. Additionally, there were 2,207 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 33,970 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 602,075 doses of vaccine, an increase of 200 from yesterday. A total of 404,695 inoculations have been given (67.2% of available doses). This represents an increase of 12,483 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 21,178, an increase of 274 since yesterday, for 42.9% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

2/9/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 820 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 8, for a total of 245,233 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 655 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 63,615 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 10,525 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 230,565 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,373 active probable cases and there have been 58,209 probable recoveries. The total of 14,898 active cases is down 422 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,119 confirmed and 1,029 probable—increased by 42 since yesterday. There are 775 hospitalized patients with 137 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 4,651 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 77,575. Additionally, there were 3,672 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 29,906.

 

Arkansas has received 601,875 doses of vaccine, an increase of 40,725 from yesterday. A total of 392,212 inoculations have been given (65.2% of available doses). This represents an increase of 12,588 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 20,904, an increase of 967 since yesterday, for 42.3% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • Looking at Phase 1-A, all long-term care facilities have had at least one vaccination clinic, first responders have been covered, and over 50% of teachers and staff have had access to vaccinations. More progress with vaccinating the 70+ population needs to be made before Arkansas will offer vaccinations to other groups in Phase 1-B. No exact dates are set for when more groups will be added to the vaccination list, but Governor Hutchinson said that more should be added by March 1. As of today, 12.8% of the Arkansas population has been vaccinated.
  • This week, the National Retail Pharmacy program will increase the amount of vaccine doses available by 20%. This will include 11,600 doses distributed to 58 Wal-Mart stores across Arkansas. This is over and above the state vaccination availability. The number of doses should stay consistent, not decrease, but they may increase.
  • Nationwide, the federal government announced that they will distribute one million doses to federally qualified community health centers. In Arkansas, this includes 12 community health organizations with 120 clinics across the state. This is a new federal program to ensure the availability of the vaccine to rural and underserved areas, and is over and above the state vaccination availability. There is not yet information about the amount of doses available or timing of when they will be available, but this new program will help distribute more vaccines.
  • The CDC will provide guidance to repurpose second doses for those who do not show up for their second appointment. The number of second-dose no-shows is expected to be a very small segment of the population. Those unused doses will be given to other people to ensure there is very little waste. It is expected that the CDC guidance will be that if the patient does not show up for 10 days after their scheduled second dose, that dose can then be used for others.
  • A new ad to encourage following the three W’s as well as getting your flu shot immediately, and the COVID vaccine when it is available, will start to be shown on TV. This is a $500,000 campaign over the next two months, and other ads will also be used. This is to encourage everyone to stay safe and get your vaccine when it is your turn.
  • Vaccine distribution to the states is not based on the effectiveness of administration of the doses, but only on a per capita basis. Governor Hutchinson has advocated to the federal government to allocate more doses to the states, rather than create new programs to distribute to community health clinics or national pharmacies, as Arkansas has shown that they are very efficient with distribution.
  • Asked about a Texarkana fast food restaurant that was not requiring masks or social distancing among workers or diners, Governor Hutchinson said that the directive to require masks and social distancing is still in place, and the Department of Health is responsible for enforcement. If any places are not following the directive, then bring them to the attention of the Department of Health, and they will ensure that the guidelines are being followed and levy fines if needed.
  • Asked about the delays in the long-term care facility vaccination program, Governor Hutchinson said that the state has vaccinated around 60% of long-term care facilities through their program at independent pharmacies. The federal program was slow on starting vaccinations and were over-allocated doses, but the state has received some of the excess doses to help vaccinate those over 70. There have been three waves of clinics, and during the second phase, there was a 30% increase in people being willing to be vaccinated.
  • Asked about the strain on pharmacies to administer thousands of vaccines, Governor Hutchinson thanked them for their hard work, and the state will work with them to ensure they have what is needed.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • With the combined PCR and antigen testing numbers, for the first time since November, Arkansas’s seven-day average is back under 10% positive testing. Active cases are also dropping. Vaccinations are more available in all regions of the state. Arkansas is improving, but we need to keep working to continue to slow the spread.
  • Asked about a report that suggests that the state is in the eye of a hurricane with regards to the recent decrease in cases, Dr. Romero said that he has not seen the report, but that he thinks the state is effectively decreasing the number of new cases and there should not be another spike. None of the new strains have been found in Arkansas yet, but it is only a matter of time. With the current effectiveness of mitigation practices, Arkansas can ensure that there will not be a new spike in cases.

Retired Colonel Rob “Gator” Ator: Director of Military Affairs, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

  • Over the past three weeks, through the various programs, Arkansas’s supply of vaccine has increased by around 40%. It is expected that vaccine availability will increase, although only a smaller increase next week. The main goal is to find out if any new vaccines will become available and prepare for the distribution of those doses. No news is available on approval of the new vaccines.
  • Asked whether the state has plans to ensure that all clinics have vaccines available for their patients who are eligible, Colonel Ator said that there just is not enough available now to distribute to everyone who wants it. Once more vaccine is available and the state moves into Phase 1-C, they will work with clinics and doctors to ensure that the doses get to those who need it.

 

 

2/8/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 539 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 7, for a total of 244,413 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 98 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 62,960 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,016 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 229,290 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,304 active probable cases and there have been 57,627 probable recoveries. The total of 15,320 active cases is down 1,624 from last Friday. Total deaths—4,081 confirmed and 1,025 probable, a combined increase of 30 since yesterday. There are 777 hospitalized patients with 142 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 6,139 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 71,514. Additionally, there were 573 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 23,576.

 

Arkansas has received 561,150 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 379,624 inoculations have been given (67.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 1,946 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 19,937, an increase of 496 since yesterday, for 40.4% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

2/5/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,292 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 4, for a total of 242,251 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 532 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 62,472 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,778 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 226,415 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,166 active probable cases and there have been 56,284 probable recoveries. The total of 16,944 active cases is down 48 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,032 confirmed and 1,018 probable—increased by 41 since yesterday. There are 808 hospitalized patients with 144 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 11,496 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 42,700. Additionally, there were 3,294 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 17,025.

 

Arkansas has received 555,850 doses of vaccine, an increase of 19,025 from yesterday. A total of 351,485 inoculations have been given (63.2% of available doses). This represents an increase of 21,964 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 18,777, an increase of 492 since yesterday, for 38.0% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks three in new cases and 15 in new deaths over the last seven days, 14 in current hospitalizations, and 28 in total population vaccinated.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

2/4/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,894 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 3, for a total of 240,959 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 575 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 61,940 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,806 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 225,114 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,186 active probable cases and there have been 55,754 probable recoveries. The total of 16,992 active cases is up 459 from yesterday. Total deaths—4,013 confirmed and 996 probable—increased by 24 since yesterday. There are 815 hospitalized patients with 145 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 12,782 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in February to 29,994. Additionally, there were 2,068 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 11,848.

 

Arkansas has received 536,825 doses of vaccine, an increase of 17,600 from yesterday. A total of 329,521 inoculations have been given (61.4% of available doses). This represents an increase of 13,037 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 18,285, an increase of 746 since yesterday, for 37.0% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

2/3/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,732 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 2, for a total of 239,065 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 694 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 61,365 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,401 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 223,644 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,132 probable active cases and there have been 55,238 probable recoveries. The total of 16,553 active cases is up 202 from 16,331 yesterday. Total deaths—3,994 confirmed and 991 probable, a combined increase of 46 since yesterday. There are 884 hospitalized patients with 142 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 10,060 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in February to 15,248. Additionally, there were 1,813 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 6,975 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 519,225 doses of vaccine, an increase of 32,725 from yesterday. A total of 316,484 inoculations have been given (61.0% of available doses). This represents an increase of 15,193 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 17,539, an increase of 422 since yesterday, for 35.5% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

2/2/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 793 confirmed cases since yesterday, February 1, for a total of 237,333 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 717 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 60,671 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,371 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 221,965 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,960 active probable cases and there have been 54,739 probable recoveries. The total of 16,331 active cases is down 334 from 16,665 yesterday. Total deaths—3,971 confirmed and 968 probable, a combined increase of 44 since yesterday. There are 869 hospitalized patients with 141 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 4,638 PCR tests were performed. Additionally, there were 2,585 antigen tests performed yesterday.

 

Arkansas has received 486,500 doses of vaccine, an increase of 15,900 from yesterday. A total of 301,291 inoculations have been given (61.9% of available doses). This represents an increase of 7,721 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 17,117, an increase of 174 since yesterday, for 34.6% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • The Arkansas monthly fiscal report was released, and it shows that for this fiscal year, income and sales tax is over $400 million more than forecast. With the expected surplus, Governor Hutchinson encourages Congress and the White House to compromise on the new COVID relief package. With the expected economic growth of 3.5%, there is no need to go big with the relief package, as that will cause the country to go even more into debt.
  • The 11pm curfew on bars and restaurants set to expire on February 3 will not be extended as hospitalizations and cases have decreased.
  • Any delays in vaccinations are a result of ensuring there are second doses available, as well as ensuring that doses are getting to the people who need it.
  • After speaking with the CDC and the federal COVID task force, Arkansas will receive an additional 5% increase in vaccine doses this week, in addition to the 16% increase announced last week. These additional doses are due to improvements in both distribution on the federal level as well as manufacturing the vaccines. The federal government has been ensuring that states receive data on their vaccination doses at least three weeks out, so that plans can be made for distribution. Beyond those doses, Wal-Mart will receive 10,000 doses starting on February 11 to be distributed to 60 stores across the state. These doses will be available to all those currently eligible for the vaccinations and will be coordinated with Colonel Ator to ensure the doses go where they are most needed.
  • Asked when the state will move forward with additional categories of Phase 1-B, Governor Hutchinson said that the state started Phase 1-B earlier than expected, but that they will need to continue to increase the immunizations before they will start to add more parts of Phase 1-B. Once supply increases or demand decreases, more groups will be added.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • Although cases and hospitalizations have decreased, please continue to follow the 3 W’s. Monoclonal antibody treatments and the beginnings of the vaccination efficacy have also helped.
  • Once the new strains are confirmed to arrive in Arkansas, they will become the main strains that spread, and are more contagious, so care is needed to ensure that the spread is low. Specimens are being sent to the CDC, as well as some labs within Arkansas, to be sequenced to see if the new strains are in the state. The variant first found in Brazil has shown some resistance to the monoclonal antibody treatment, but it is not complete resistance.
  • Vaccines are safe, effective, and should be taken as soon as you are eligible and offered the doses. All of the vaccines are effective at significantly decreasing the severity and mortality of COVID.
  • The Johnson and Johnson vaccine could be approved this month, which is the single dose vaccine. This would be the third vaccine approved and would significantly increase the availability of doses to help increase immunity across the state.
  • Doses are being held for second doses and will not be administered to give more people first doses. This is based on the CDC and ACIP recommendations, and the state will not go against their recommendations.

Mike Preston: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Commerce

  • The Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website reopened on Friday, January 29, with the new requirements from the new relief bill passed in December. There were 40 changes, including requiring ID verification at the beginning to help catch fraud before distributing money. The first weekend, 4,900 payments were distributed, and 9,800 payments were processed yesterday. More payments will be distributed over the coming week. Over 60,000 emails were sent to all those eligible for the additional PUA payments, and those participants should click on the unique link in the email to upload their identification and additional documentation to ensure they get the payments. The system has flagged some payments for review, but the state is working to adjust to the new requirements and it should be solved within a couple of days.
  • The 60,000 eligible and approved for PUA are mostly independent contractors, gig workers, self-employed, or their business was impacted by the pandemic. There has been a shift from people eligible for regular unemployment assistance to PUA. With the new relief bill, there are additional weeks of traditional unemployment assistance to exhaust before you can apply for PUA. All this information is available on the website or by phone at 844-908-2178.
  • With the original relief bills, large amounts of fraudulent claims were made, and thus many people received 1099G tax forms for unemployment claims that they did not make. If you have received the 1099G claim for a fraudulent unemployment claim, file a police report, and email that report to adws.internalaudit@arkansas.gov by February 12. The only way that this fraud can be removed from your account is by receiving the police report from your local law enforcement agency. The state will report the corrected information to the IRS by the end of February. More information is available on the IRS website.

Dr. Ivy Pfeffer: Deputy Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Education

  • Last week, many schools celebrated 100 days of school this year, and students have been able to learn with relatively few interruptions.
  • This school year, 74% of schools and 56% of districts have not had to have large scale modifications due to COVID.
  • To learn how students and schools have been affected by COVID and distance learning, the federal government has not given a waiver for the year end testing that normally takes place in the spring. Testing is important for learning about COVID’s effects, not on academic accountability. The Arkansas Department of Education supports legislation to waive the A-F rating for schools based on the standardized testing for this school year. This is to help the state learn how to improve and support students and schools who need it.
  • Students will have to take the standardized tests at either the school itself, or a school-approved location. The Department of Education is allowing for additional flexibility on dates, times, and how they are administered. Any students who are distance learning will have the opportunity to work with their school districts to ensure that they feel safe when they take the test. 80% of students across the state are going to school on-site, and so it is much easier for the districts to handle the much smaller number who are remote learning.

 

 

2/1/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 872 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 31, for a total of 236,540 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 354 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 59,954 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 11,806 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 220,771 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,859 active probable cases and there have been 54,133 probable recoveries. The total of 16,665 active cases is down 661 from 17,326 last Friday. Total deaths—3,937 confirmed and 958 probable, a combined increase of 27 since yesterday. There are 889 hospitalized patients with 146 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 7,803 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 340,985. Additionally, there were 398 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 81,932.

 

Arkansas has received 470,600 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 293,570 inoculations have been given (62.4% of available doses). This represents an increase of 2,684 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 16,943, an increase of 271 since yesterday, for 34.3% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

1/29/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,218 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 28, for a total of 233,556 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 489 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 59,007 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 12,010 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 217,633 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,316 active probable cases and there have been 52,743 probable recoveries. The total of 17,326 active cases is down 221 from 17,547 yesterday. Total deaths—3,887 confirmed and 944 probable, a combined increase of 47 since yesterday. There are 951 hospitalized patients with 144 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 13,027 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 307,097. Additionally, there were 3,565 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 79,095.

 

Arkansas has received 470,400 doses of vaccine, an increase of 200 from yesterday. A total of 270,332 inoculations have been given (57.5% of available doses). This represents an increase of 15,058 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 14,596, an increase of 2,188 since yesterday, for 29.5% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks 15 in new cases and eight in new deaths over the last seven days, and 10 in current hospitalizations.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/28/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,471 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 27, for a total of 232,338 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 421 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 58,518 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 12,171 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 216,277 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,376 active probable cases and there have been 52,218 probable recoveries. The total of 17,547 active cases is down from 17,686 yesterday. Total deaths—3,864 confirmed and 920 probable, a combined increase of 42 since yesterday. There are 996 hospitalized patients with 143 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 10,326 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 292,618. Additionally, there were 3,195 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 75,530.

 

Arkansas has received 470,200 doses of vaccine, an increase of 47,325 from yesterday. A total of 255,274 inoculations have been given (54.3% of available doses). This represents an increase of 13,808 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 12,408, an increase of 2,778 since yesterday, for 25.1% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/27/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,140 confirmed cases since yesterday for a total of 230,867 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 637 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 58,097 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 12,292 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 214,710 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,394 probable active cases and there have been 51,796 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,839 confirmed and 903 probable. There are 1,029 hospitalized patients with 157 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 9,223 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in January to 280,505. Additionally, there were 3,031 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 72,335 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 422,875 doses of vaccine, an increase of 12,700 from yesterday. A total of 241,466 inoculations have been given (57.1% of available doses). This represents an increase of 14,392 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 9,630, an increase of 2,584 since yesterday, for 19.5% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

1/26/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 1,317 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 25, for a total of 229,727 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,168 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 57,460 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 12,755 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 213,135 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,403 active probable cases and there have been 51,173 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,810 confirmed and 880 probable. There are 1,095 hospitalized patients with 176 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 5,530 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 270,202. Additionally, there were 4,959 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 69,254.

 

Arkansas has received 410,175 doses of vaccine, an increase of 72,825 from yesterday. A total of 227,074 inoculations have been given (55.4% of available doses). This represents an increase of 12,457 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 7,046, an increase of 61 since yesterday, for 14.3% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • The unemployment rate in Arkansas has decreased to 4.2%, which is lower than the 5.0% it was in March of 2020. This is a result of an increase in jobs, not a decrease in people looking for jobs.
  • According to the New York Times, Arkansas is ranked 10th in percent of the population vaccinated at 6.5%. Last week, 92% of first dose vaccines coming into Arkansas were administered within 48 hours. Arkansas has received over 72,000 doses this week, but only 37,125 are first doses. Governor Hutchinson spoke with Jeff Zients, the head of President Biden’s COVID Vaccination Task Force, and after the press conference, Governor Hutchinson also has a call with the National Governor’s Association, along with the federal COVID Vaccination Task Force, to find out the number of doses in future weeks’ distribution of vaccine. Colonel Ator is working to set up long range planning for vaccinations, but that depends upon on knowing how many doses are available. Doses are being distributed so that all areas of the state are covered equitably, and it is not just going to the urban areas of the state. Arkansans are urged to be patient as the vaccination plans are being finalized.
  • Although only 7,046 doses have been distributed by the federal Long Term Care Facility program, they will have fulfilled their requirements this week. The state has been given approval to start using those extra doses for those over 70 at CVS and Walgreens. Since yesterday, around 2,500 have been vaccinated at Walgreens. Those doses are not counted yet due to an allowed two to three day delay in reporting. The Winter COVID Task Force had a meeting today, and they report that over 90% of long term care facilities have had at least one vaccination clinic. The other facilities should be covered soon. They do not have any information about the actual percent of staff and patients vaccinated. Currently, Arkansas has no ability to measure the acceptance rate across the state by first responders, hospital and nursing home staff, or educators.
  • Asked about the delay in setting up the additional assistance for unemployment insurance from the most recent federal aid bill, Governor Hutchinson said that the delay is a result of having to readjust the systems to reflect the new amounts available. It is a work in progress, but Arkansas is working hard to get it done as quickly as possible. To those who were told in December that they won’t be receiving any additional money until February, Governor Hutchinson said that they should reach out to their community action agency to receive help with rental and food assistance as needed. Additional information was sent to participants in the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program last Friday, in order to make sure that they have everything they need. If the participant put in an application before December 26, they should continue to file their weekly forms, but money will not be distributed until the system updates. New claimants will be delayed until the system updates.
  • Asked about a Politico report that there will be a 17% increase in vaccine doses distributed to the state next week, Governor Hutchinson said that if that is true, that will be welcome news, but any statement on that will have to wait until numbers are confirmed. Any increase in vaccine doses will be distributed the same way that current doses are being distributed.
  • Asked if there were any concerns about delays in a second dose, Governor Hutchinson said that there should be no delays or concerns about not being able to receive a second dose. As shipments of the vaccine arrive in Arkansas, second doses are set aside to ensure that there are no delays in distributing them.
  • Asked about the dismissal of the lawsuit by bar and restaurant owners against the 11 p.m. curfew, Governor Hutchinson agreed with the dismissal and said that the decrease in cases over the past weeks have shown that the curfew is necessary. A decision will be made within the next week as to whether the curfew will need to be extended.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • Both the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines are safe and effective. They are around 95% effective, and of those 5-6% who did contract COVID during the studies were mild cases. They are 100% effective in preventing severe cases. The studies were conducted with complete safety protocols, even as they were developed quickly. The fast development of the vaccines was achieved through other means, not by skipping any of the safety procedures.
  • Even after being fully vaccinated, Arkansans are still encouraged to wear a mask, social distance around anyone not in their household, and wash their hands. Current cases counts are dropping, but there are additional strains of COVID that were first found in Brazil, South Africa, and the United Kingdom, and they could pose an increased threat. Although none have been confirmed yet, it is possible that one or more of those strains could be active in Arkansas already, and these strains are more dangerous than the current strain. Please follow the three W’s to help stop and slow the spread of COVID in any of the strains.
  • Asked if using two masks rather than one is better, Dr. Dillaha said that she has not seen any studies to suggest that. However, some masks are better than others. Single layer cotton masks aren’t as good as multi-layer masks. Masks with valves shouldn’t be used due to the valve focusing the spread of aerosols directly to a person you might be talking to. Masks must be worn properly by covering your mouth and nose and having a snug fit. If you are wearing it under your chin or nose, the mask is not going to be effective.

Retired Colonel Rob “Gator” Ator: Director of Military Affairs, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

  • Around 3,000 doses from the Long Term Care Facility program will be made available to appointments starting next Monday at CVS locations around the state. There may be fewer pharmacies getting doses due to a lack of those vaccines, but the Arkansas Department of Health will have those locations updated this week. Those are Moderna doses which have a 28 day lag, rather than just a 21 day lag for Pfizer, so the lower percentage of administered doses in this program will start to increase soon as second doses are administered.

Johnny Key: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Education

  • Winter sports are happening now, and, with the decrease in current spread, Arkansans are urged not to get complacent and continue to follow health guidelines. If these precautions are followed, these sports can continue, and the spring sport season will not be disrupted like last year.

 

 

1/25/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 582 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 24, for a total of 228,410 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 54 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 56,292 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 12,921 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 211,684 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,871 active probable cases and there have been 50,545 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,778 confirmed and 872 probable. There are 1,084 hospitalized patients with 187 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 6,486 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 262,176. Additionally, there were 357 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 64,221.

 

Arkansas has received 337,350 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 214,617 inoculations have been given (63.6% of available doses). This represents an increase of 2,649 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,985, an increase of two since yesterday, for 14.1% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

1/22/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,494 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 21, for a total of 225,737 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 668 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 55,645 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 14,150 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 207,838 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,957 active probable cases and there have been 48,858 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,723 confirmed and 826 probable. There are 1,142 hospitalized patients with 193 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 10,531 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 230,400. Additionally, there were 6,059 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 60,302.

 

Arkansas has received 332,250 doses of vaccine, an increase of 1,500 from yesterday. A total of 193,831 inoculations have been given (58.3% of available doses). This represents an increase of 14,704 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,982, an increase of four since yesterday, for 14.1% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks 12 in new cases and fifth in new deaths over the last seven days, and 12 in current hospitalizations.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/21/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,956 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 20, for a total of 224,243 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,150 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 54,977 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 14,578 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 205,950 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,040 active probable cases and there have been 48,126 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,689 confirmed and 807 probable. There are 1,160 hospitalized patients with 195 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 10,413 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 218,903. Additionally, there were 2,825 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 54,243.

 

Arkansas has received 330,750 doses of vaccine, an increase of 18,525 from yesterday. A total of 179,127 inoculations have been given (54.2% of available doses). This represents an increase of 14,428 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,978, an increase of 162 since yesterday, for 14.1% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/20/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,490 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 19, for a total of 222,287 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,030 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 53,827 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 14,613 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 203,991 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,778 probable active cases and there have been 47,261 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,657 confirmed and 784 probable. There are 1,179 hospitalized patients with 212 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 9,184 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in January to 206,584. Additionally, there were 4,186 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 51,418 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 312,225 doses of vaccine, an increase of 1,950 from yesterday. A total of 164,699 inoculations have been given (52.8% of available doses). This represents an increase of 17,090 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,816, an increase of 190 since yesterday, for 13.8% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

1/19/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 841 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 18, for a total of 220,797 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 490 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 52,797 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,281 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 201,869 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,659 active probable cases and there have been 46,369 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,621 confirmed and 765 probable. There are 1,265 hospitalized patients with 209 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 6,074 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 193,601. Additionally, there were 2,281 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 47,178.

 

Arkansas has received 310,275 doses of vaccine, an increase of 35,275 from yesterday. A total of 147,609 inoculations have been given (47.6% of available doses). This represents an increase of 13,647 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,626, an increase of 29 since yesterday, for 13.4% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • Although the new positive cases have been lower the past week compared to the previous week, COVID is still here and still a threat until more people can be vaccinated. The low number of new vaccinations in long-term care facilities was due to logistical issues this weekend. Facilities are still on schedule to finish by the end of the month. The Arkansas Department of Health website has been updated to include a page on the vaccine. It includes a map of pharmacies that are involved in distributing the vaccines.
  • The Super Bowl in February is usually a time of parties, but in the time of COVID, you are encouraged to have a very limited watch party.
  • The reason for why CVS and Walgreens are still getting so many doses when they have administered so few is that it is a federal contract. The doses were allocated based on a census of patients at long-term care facilities, but due to a decline in population, the state is looking to reallocate those extra doses.
  • Asked about reports that some schools in Northwest Arkansas do not have enough vaccine doses to vaccinate their staff, Governor Hutchinson said the limited supply has lead to delays in requests for doses being fulfilled. No one expected all the teachers to be vaccinated in the first week of access, and it is only the second day that teachers have been allowed to be vaccinated.
  • The plan is still to vaccinate everyone in long-term care facilities by the end of January, even if it appears that the doses have been slow to be administered. The addition of groups from Phase 1-B to the groups who are eligible to be vaccinated shows that the Department of Health is comfortable with the pace of vaccinations. It could be faster, and that is why Colonel Ator is working to unify the vaccine distribution plans across the state.
  • Asked whether the new planned hospital beds are in use, Governor Hutchinson said the COVID Winter Task Force advised that some of the beds could be used, ahead of schedule. With the decrease in hospitalizations, the additional beds have not yet been needed.
  • Asked about Arkansas Capitol security plans for the inauguration, Governor Hutchinson said that the planned events this past weekend did not take place and that there were increased security plans for the coming days. There should be enough security to ensure no damage is done to any state property or injury to any staff. Governor Hutchinson is heading to Washington, DC to attend the inauguration of President-Elect Biden tomorrow.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • The new strains of COVID are normal in a pandemic as the virus mutates. The current biggest threat is a strain first found in the United Kingdom, and 10 states have reported finding this strain. Arkansas is currently monitoring new cases for this strain, but all suspicious cases so far have been found by the CDC to be the main strain of COVID. There are eight samples still being tested. The CDC says that by March, the new strain will be the predominant strain in the United States, and so it will get to Arkansas, even if it isn’t here now. The new strain is 50 to 70 times more transmissible than the current strain. The three W’s (wear a mask, wash your hands, watch your distance) can still help prevent the spread of this new strain. The concern is that the new strain may lead to another spike in cases due to the transmissibility, as well as threatening the vaccination plans. The ACIP has discussed this new strain with the vaccine manufacturers, and it appears that the vaccines still work against this new strain. There are additional new strains, one first found in Brazil and one in South Africa, that haven’t been found in the United States yet. The strain first found in Brazil is not as susceptible to the monoclonal antibody treatment.
  • Asked whether the increased transmissibility of the new strain would lead to a need for increased restrictions on schools, restaurants, and other public events, Dr. Romero said that additional restrictions would only be needed if people do not follow the three W’s. If people wear their masks appropriately, there will be no need for stricter restrictions than are currently in place.

Retired Colonel Rob “Gator” Ator: Director of Military Affairs, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

  • Arkansas is working to reclaim the extra doses from CVS and Walgreens when they complete their vaccinations scheduled for the end of January. The hope is that, by the end of next week, those in Phase 1-B will be allowed access to the excess doses.

Johnny Key: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Education

  • Arkansas has a new program to assist schools, communities, and students find the help they need during COVID. The website will eventually have specific supports in every county, including food security, clothing closets, physical and mental health support, and other supports. As more organizations start to ramp up their efforts, they will be added to the website. There are over 50 categories of supports listed now. This will not be shut down when the COVID pandemic is gone, but will be used in the future to help students get the aid that they may need.
  • As of the end of December, Arkansas had spent all the money allocated in the CARES Act for emergency leave for teachers. There were $4.6 million in additional claims not covered by the available funding. The new federal funding passed in January will be able to be used to cover these claims. The Governor will be seeking approval by the General Assembly to cover those costs.

 

 

1/18/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 988 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 17, for a total of 219,956 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 121 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 52,307 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,747 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 199,598 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,047 active probable cases and there have been 45,498 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,585 confirmed and 758 probable. There are 1,263 hospitalized patients with 216 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 8,432 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 186,957. Additionally, there were 323 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 44,897.

 

Arkansas has received 275,000 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 133,962 inoculations have been given (48.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 2,940 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 6,597, an increase of 312 since yesterday, for 13.4% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-B of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

1/15/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,140 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 14, for a total of 216,339 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 984 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 51,296 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 17,933 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 194,855 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,680 active probable cases and there have been 42,874 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,525 confirmed and 738 probable. There are 1,314 hospitalized patients with 226 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 12,937 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 153,120. Additionally, there were 3,757 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 41,450.

 

Arkansas has received 275,000 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 119,065 inoculations have been given (43.3% of available doses). This represents an increase of 6,827 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 5,091, an increase of 557 since yesterday, for 10.3% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks eight in new cases and eight in new deaths over the last seven days, and 12 in current hospitalizations.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/14/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,735 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 13, for a total of 214,199 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 756 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 50,312 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 17,357 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 193,321 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,383 active probable cases and there have been 42,192 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,495 confirmed and 733 probable. There are 1,295 hospitalized patients with 241 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 12,294 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 138,024. Additionally, there were 3,161 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 37,666.

 

Arkansas has received 275,000 doses of vaccine, an increase of 23,400 from yesterday. A total of 112,238 inoculations have been given (40.8% of available doses). This represents an increase of 9,581 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 49,400 doses of vaccine, an increase of 24,700 from yesterday, and has given 4,534, an increase of 365 since yesterday, for 9.2% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/13/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,591 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 12, for a total of 212,464 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 876 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 49,556 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 17,555 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 191,412 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,540 probable active cases and there have been 41,297 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,470 confirmed and 716 probable. There are 1,362 hospitalized patients with 255 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 8,581 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in January to 123,260. Additionally, there were 4,778 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 34,463 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 251,600 doses of vaccine, an increase of 24,100 from yesterday. A total of 102,657 inoculations have been given (40.8% of available doses). This represents an increase of 13,208 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 4,169, an increase of 285 since yesterday, for 16.9% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

1/12/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 2,095 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 11, for a total of 210,873 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,114 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 48,680 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 18,177 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 189,245 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,525 active probable cases and there have been 40,455 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,424 confirmed and 697 probable. There are 1,354 hospitalized patients with 251 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 6,358 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 113,364. Additionally, there were 4,334 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 29,640.

 

Arkansas has received 227,500 doses of vaccine, an increase of 24,125 from yesterday. A total of 89,449 inoculations have been given (39.3% of available doses). This represents an increase of 8,653 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 3,884, an increase of 110 since yesterday, for 15.7% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • Phase 1-A is expected to be finished by the end of January. Two parts of Phase 1-B, that is those 70 and older as well as educators and staff at daycares, K-12, and higher education facilities, will be moved up to be vaccinated starting on January 18. This is a result of additional doses being available, with around 50,000 doses coming in per week, and those numbers are expected to increase. The vaccines for those 70 and older will be available through hospitals, health care providers, and pharmacies. Vaccines for those in education and child care will be handled by school districts who will need to reach out to the ADH units or pharmacies to schedule a vaccination clinic onsite.
  • There is no estimated date for the rest of Phase 1-B, frontline essential workers, while Phase 1-C is still estimated to begin in April.
  • The Arkansas National Guard is working with the Department of Health and the Department of Emergency Management to finalize a plan for vaccinations, but should be ready by January 15. Retired Colonel Rob “Gator” Ator, Director of Military Affairs for the Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will head the vaccine distribution plan. The Department of Health will still be running the vaccination plans, but Colonel Ator will be helping the state coordinate across all agencies as needed.
  • Asked if there will be enough doses ready for the people eligible for vaccinations on January 18, Governor Hutchinson said that they won’t have enough for everyone in the new group, but that there are healthcare facilities across the state that have doses ready to administer without having the patients eligible to receive them. Once President-Elect Biden is inaugurated, Governor Hutchinson expects even more doses to be released to the state and an increase in the future supply.
  • Inmates in correctional facilities are in Phase 1-C, and there are no plans to make any adjustments.
  • Asked whether the FBI has given specific threat information about protests at the Arkansas Capitol, Governor Hutchinson said that they have not received any specific threat, but that they are taking the threats seriously. There were sufficient security resources available for the opening of the legislative session, and they will also be available for any future events. The Arkansas Capitol will be protected on January 20, as the seat of democracy in Arkansas. The National Guard would only be activated if the civilian police forces are not able to deal with any threats. Governor Hutchinson says that it’s less likely to be violent in Arkansas than in other states.
  • Asked if he was concerned about the reception for the hate crimes bill mention in his state of the state address, Governor Hutchinson said that he was hopeful for the bill’s passage.
  • Asked how someone would get vaccinated with the expansion of eligibility, Governor Hutchinson said that they needed to reach out to the hospitals or other health care facilities in their area to see what is available and how to get on the list. There will not be a centralized waiting list.
  • Asked if the state will start opening up mass vaccination centers at large venues, Governor Hutchinson said that there is no point in opening those unless there are enough doses to require them. When large schools or employers are set to be vaccinated, there will be a need for mass vaccination capabilities.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • There is a third vaccine on the horizon, the AstraZeneca/Oxford vaccine, and the safety of it will be assessed at future FDA meetings. More vaccination doses are coming in the near future. The goal is to minimize adverse effects and maximize effectiveness.
  • The report that had Arkansas seven from the bottom on the list of states that had vaccinated the highest percentage of the population was based on old data. When the numbers are recalculated with the current information, Arkansas is 14 on the list. Yesterday, 2.7% of the population was vaccinated, and as of today, it is 3%.
  • Asked if Arkansas has set up a crisis standard of care to help set goals for rationing if needed, Dr. Romero said that they are developing one, but that they hope that they never have to use it.
  • The delay in vaccinations, as well as the low percentage of the population vaccinated, is concerning, but the state is working to speed up the process, both of the vaccination and the reporting. The number of doses is the limiting factor. If the federal government releases more doses, Arkansas will be able to distribute those doses where they are needed more easily. No one is going to only get one dose. The vaccination plan will be more complex as both second doses are needed as well as future vaccines being approved that may only require one dose.

Retired Colonel Rob “Gator” Ator: Director of Military Affairs, Arkansas Economic Development Commission

  • Every Arkansan should be proud of the work performed by the Arkansas Department of Health. As the number of vaccination-eligible population increases, more work needs to be done to ensure that capacity increases as well. That includes involving the Arkansas National Guard.
  • Additional pharmacies will be added to the vaccine distribution plan to help handle the increased need for vaccines.

Major General Kendall Penn: Adjutant General, Arkansas National Guard

  • The plan is to bring hospitals, clinics, pharmacies, and private industry together to allow more locations for vaccine distribution and administration. There is a new data management program that will allow departments across state government to know the amount of vaccine distributed, administered, and available in real time. There will also be strike teams created to help schools or other large companies get vaccinated quickly, by sending people to those locations. The plan also includes making this information easily accessible to the public, as well as allowing Governor Hutchinson and Dr. Romero the information they need to make timely decisions.

 

 

1/11/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,029 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 10, for a total of 208,778 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 239 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 47,566 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 18,166 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 187,194 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,368 active probable cases and there have been 39,506 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,392 confirmed and 689 probable. There are 1,371 hospitalized patients with 268 on ventilators, both new records.

 

Yesterday, 7,302 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 104,721. Additionally, there were 1,464 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 25,230.

 

Arkansas has received 203,375 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday. A total of 80,796 inoculations have been given (39.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 2,942 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 3,774, an increase of 351 since yesterday, for 15.3% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

1/8/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,211 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 7, for a total of 202,742 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 733 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 46,118 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 18,564 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas, a new record, and there have been 180,851 confirmed recoveries. There are 8,726 active probable cases, a new record, and there have been 36,727 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,304 confirmed and 662 probable. There are 1,342 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 219 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 11,010 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 68,193. Additionally, there were 3,743 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 19,886.

 

Arkansas has received 190,100 doses of vaccine, an increase of 20,475 from yesterday. A total of 65,991 inoculations have been given (34.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 7,077 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 2,474, an increase of 100 since yesterday, for 10.0% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

According to Washington Post data, across all states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks nine in new cases and 12 in new deaths over the last seven days, and 13 in current hospitalizations.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/7/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,277 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 6, for a total of 200,531 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,046 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 45,385 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 17,517 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas, a new record, and there have been 179,718 confirmed recoveries. There are 8,467 active probable cases, a new record, and there have been 36,262 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,273 confirmed and 653 probable. There are 1,326 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 218 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 11,513 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 55,731. Additionally, there were 3,796 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 16,143.

 

Arkansas has received 169,625 doses of vaccine, an increase of 17,550 from yesterday. A total of 58,914 inoculations have been given (34.7% of available doses). This represents an increase of 8,235 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 2,374, an increase of 841 since yesterday, for 9.6% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

1/6/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,324 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 5, for a total of 198,254 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,381 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 44,339 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,954 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 178,025 confirmed recoveries. There are 8,138 probable active cases, a new record, and there have been 35,549 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,252 confirmed and 649 probable. There are 1,321 hospitalized patients with 217 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 8,741 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in January to 43,129. Additionally, there were 4,477 antigen tests performed yesterday, for a total of 12,285 tests this month.

 

Arkansas has received 152,075 doses of vaccine, an increase of 17,650 from yesterday. A total of 50,679 inoculations have been given (33.3% of available doses). This represents an increase of 12,795 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 1,533, an increase of 209 since yesterday, for 6.2% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new confirmed and probable daily cases of COVID-19. The green line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

1/5/2021

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 2,275 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 4, for a total of 195,930 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,832 probable cases since yesterday, a new record, for a total of 42,958 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,883 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 175,818 confirmed recoveries. There are 7,525 active probable cases, a new record, and there have been 34,799 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,205 confirmed and 631 probable. There are 1,323 hospitalized patients with 224 on ventilators, both new records.

 

Yesterday, 5,224 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 33,334. Additionally, there were 3,552 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 7,451.

 

Arkansas has received 134,425 doses of vaccine, an increase of 10,100 from yesterday. A total of 37,884 inoculations have been given (28.2% of available doses). This represents an increase of 2,922 since yesterday. The Long Term Care Federal Program has received 24,700 doses of vaccine, no increase from yesterday, and has given 1,324, no increase since yesterday, for 5.4% of doses given. Arkansas is in phase 1-A of vaccine distribution.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • The Power of You is the new message, emphasizing your own part in helping to stop COVID by the three W’s: wearing a mask, washing your hands, and watching your distance.
  • Arkansas is in Phase 1-A. This includes high priority health care workers, long-term care facility staff and residents, and other high priority groups. These other groups are workers at primary and urgent care facilities, college and university student health centers, K-12 health clinics and school nurses, dental clinics, EMS, fire and law enforcement who serve as first responders, pharmacists, home health care workers, private and personal care workers, hospice care workers, dialysis center workers, corrections officers, and blood donation center workers. These are the same as the CDC guidelines other than moving first responders into Phase 1-A, who were in the original CDC guidelines for Phase 1-A. The full list of those in Phase 1-A includes 180,000 Arkansans. The goal is to vaccinate all of these before the end of January. Hospitals and pharmacies have been setting up clinics to help distribute these doses.
  • Phase 1-B should start in February, and includes people who are 70 or older, as well as frontline essential workers, such as teachers and school staff, food and agricultural workers, firefighters and police not in 1-A, manufacturing workers, grocery store workers, public transit workers, childcare workers, U.S. Postal Service workers, and essential government workers, including state legislators. CDC guidelines recommended only 75 and older, but Arkansas has adjusted that to 70 and over. There are over 400,000 in this group, not counting all the essential workers. Hospitals and pharmacies will continue to distribute doses, but local health units will also be used. Private sector companies and the Arkansas National Guard will coordinate with the Department of Health team to help with the monumental task of vaccinating Arkansans from Phase 1-B to the rest of the general population.
  • Phase 1-C should start in April. This will include people who are 65 to 69, those between 16 and 64 with high-risk medical conditions, and essential workers not in 1-B, such as transportation and logistics, water and wastewater, food service, shelter and housing, public safety, finance, IT and communications, energy, media, and public health workers.
  • Adjustments may be made depending on data, doses, and interest in vaccines. The full plan for vaccinations will be on the Department of Health website by January 15 so that everyone can learn the plans.
  • When you get your first dose of the vaccine, you will get a scheduled appointment for the second doses.
  • Vaccination numbers are delayed due to more need of vaccinating people rather than dealing with paperwork. They are allowed up to three days to report this data to the state.
  • Asked why Arkansas decided to vaccinate those who are 70 and older rather than 75 and older, Governor Hutchinson said that based on numbers of deaths and serious illness among those over 70, as well as the higher rate of comorbidities, it made sense to include them in Phase 1-B. Other states are making similar adjustments.
  • Asked whether vaccine hesitancy has led to moving first responders up in the phases as there is more vaccine than was expected, Governor Hutchinson said that in some places only 70% of those eligible for the vaccine have accepted it. This has allowed for more groups to be moved up in the phase system.
  • Asked why there is delay in administering the current doses of vaccine, Governor Hutchinson said that hospitals have been effective in distributing doses, but that long-term care facilities have a greater logistical challenge, such as consent, additional training, and agreements with pharmacies. The Governor says that is too slow, but that he hopes this rate will increase as they work through the logistical issues.
  • Asked whether hospitals will have to start cutting back on elective procedures due to the increase in COVID patients, Governor Hutchinson said that the Winter COVID Task Force doesn’t want to restrict elective surgeries, which would cause additional issues. Hospitals can increase ICU capacity however they deem fit, without a hard and fast rule against elective surgeries.
  • Asked about marketing efforts for vaccination information to ensure that safety and other information is available to all areas of the state, Governor Hutchinson said the current marketing and educational plans are to cover every media market across the state. Information is placed on the Department of Health website which is accessible to all Arkansans.
  • Asked about the increase in case numbers causing the state to consider reimplementing any restrictions, Governor Hutchinson said that he will consider any recommendations from the Winter COVID Task Force. There are restrictions on bars and restaurants, which is not well received across the state, but has limited the spread at bars and restaurants. The current increase in cases is a result of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s Eve parties in home environments and small gatherings. Those are not areas Governor Hutchinson is willing to regulate. That is individual responsibility, The Power of You, and there are two keys to victory over COVID: the vaccine and vigilance.
  • The business task force will meet soon to discuss any needs for the state with regards to COVID. This could include lifting some telemedicine restrictions, limiting liability for businesses relating to COVID, or allowing for more use of e-signatures for business agreements.
  • Asked whether the transition to the Biden administration would cause issues with vaccine distribution, Governor Hutchinson said that he has stressed that they do not change things that are working, and that he has a call tomorrow with the transition team to re-emphasize that as well as explain the current situation. He expects a smooth transition.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • It is a record day for total active cases at 24,408. Although we are able to handle the current numbers, we cannot continue on the current trajectory. Over the week, Fridays tend to have the highest numbers, which means that with over 4,000 cases today, this could be dangerously high on Friday. It is up to each person to follow the three W’s to help slow the spread, as they cannot stop the spread.
  • Phases for vaccine distribution may be modified. The ACIP allows each state to modify the distribution to reflect the needs of the state. The two new vaccines that are currently working their way through approval may adjust the timelines if they are approved and would help speed up vaccinations. There are 22 reported adverse effects from the vaccination so far in Arkansas, and none are serious.
  • First responders in rural Arkansas tend to be the first on scene, rather than ambulance crews like in larger cities, so it made sense to move them up in the vaccine queue. Additionally, Phase 1-B was going to include those who are 65 and older, not 75, but the limited amount of vaccine has forced the shift in the age limit. The U.S. was supposed to have 20 million doses by the end of 2020, but there was not nearly that amount, meaning that they are trying to fit the vaccination needs into the amount of vaccine that has been distributed.
  • Asked why teachers were not in Phase 1-A of the vaccination plan, Dr. Romero said that the ACIP developed the guidelines and the limitations of the vaccine numbers led to the current guidelines. The health care infrastructure needs to be able to withstand cases and the death rates at long-term care facilities led to them being in the first phase. Health care workers in schools are in the first phase, so the most high-risk individuals at schools will be in that first group vaccinated.
  • The state looks closely at contact tracing information, and the last 14 days of locations visited by those who have tested positive. There is no evidence to suggest that bars and restaurants are particular vectors of spread. The spread is coming from meeting with people in small groups outside their home or traveling to another state. The reason for the 11 p.m. curfew on bars and restaurants is to decrease socialization, not to punish bars or because they are currently big spreaders of COVID. If you have had any amount of alcohol, your ability to make responsible decisions decreases, and that is even more dangerous with COVID than it is normally.
  • The new strain of COVID can be caught in current testing, and the virus strains are monitored to see if there are any changes. The new strain has been around since September, so it is not surprising to find it here in Arkansas. There is no medical difference between the strains, so the public health issue is for the spread of the disease, not any actual treatment or vaccination issue.
  • Asked about the CDC reporting that antigen testing may not be as accurate as first believed, Dr. Romero said that as with everything with this pandemic, the science is adjusting to new data. A negative antigen test may not mean someone is negative for COVID. There are now guidelines for clinicians to help explain to patients that a negative antigen test doesn’t mean that the patient is not infected or that they will not be infected in the future. The PCR test is still the gold standard for whether someone is positive or negative for COVID.

Dr. Cam Patterson: Chancellor of UAMS, and on Winter COVID Task Force

  • Yesterday, UAMS discharged the 1,000th COVID positive patient. However, hospitals are struggling with stress on resources due to COVID patients. Last week, central Arkansas hospitals were potentially going to move into Surge Phase 2 but are still in Surge Phase 1. Surge Phase 2 for UAMS includes various measures to help with overloaded hospitals by double occupying single hospital rooms and expanding the emergency department into an adjacent parking deck. The system is holding now, but the strain will continue to increase as the number of cases increases week over week.
  • UAMS is nearing the completion of Phase 1-A vaccine first doses and has started the second doses for those who have already received their first dose. There are no reported adverse effects from the vaccine.
  • Many hospitals have already placed limits on elective surgeries. At UAMS, elective surgeries that would require the use of an inpatient bed are not scheduled now to allow for more beds for COVID patients.
  • Asked about whether there is significant resistance to getting vaccinated among health care workers, Dr. Patterson said that the overall number of people willing to get the vaccine has increase over the last two months from around 50% to around 60%. With the 4,000 workers at UAMS, 30% were reluctant to get the vaccine, even with the information they have as employees at UAMS. The main reason for the reluctance is safety. There are many untrustworthy sources that are out there, so the health care industry and the government need to do a better job to make it clear that the vaccines are safe to take. There has not been a single significant adverse effect among all the vaccinations at UAMS, which is not something that you could say about the standard flu vaccine.

Dr. John Vinson: CEO, Arkansas Pharmacists Association

  • Pharmacies and pharmacists are ready to vaccinate Arkansans. They expect to have over 46,000 doses to distribute this week across 73 of the 75 counties in Arkansas. Prior to this week, only 30 pharmacies across the state have received vaccines for the long-term care facilities. This will change, as 212 pharmacies will have vaccine doses distributed, so that they can “bring the heat” to the virus.
  • Local pharmacies who received the doses for long-term care facilities were able to start administering the doses within 72 hours. Larger pharmacies have been able to schedule vaccinations by January 21. Any long-term care facilities that haven’t been able to schedule vaccinations should reach out to the APA or the Department of Health to help with any issues.
  • With respect to the 70 rather than 75 and over, as the vaccine comes in vials with six or 10 doses, a slightly larger population will allow for less potential for wasted doses, as it’s easier to schedule appointments before the vial is wasted.

Johnny Key: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Education

  • The first CARES act included $15 million for sick leave for teachers if they were either positive or quarantining after COVID exposure. Those funds have been depleted. The Department of Education encourages school districts to continue that policy to help teachers, using local funds or the new federal funds from the most recent stimulus package. A new memo will be distributed this week to give all information needed, including a model policy, to set up the policy in their district. The reason why this is only recommended rather than required is a result of the difference in the structure of the funding. The state cannot require this new federal funding be used in a particular manner.
  • Asked whether students will be required to take standardized testing in school even if students are in remote learning environments, Secretary Key said that Congress is still requiring the tests to be administered. The Department of Education is working with school districts to ensure they can be administered safely on site. Around $800 million is dependent on 95% of students taking these tests. It is also important to know what the impact of the pandemic has been on students, both overall as well as those who are remote learning.

Solomon Graves: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Corrections

  • There are 286 active cases in the correctional facility inmate population, with four currently hospitalized, and 153 members of the staff currently have COVID. Vaccinations have begun for the medical staff and security staff assigned to the medical facilities. There are 975 doses, which is enough for all staff in Phase 1-A at correctional facilities.

 

 

1/4/2021

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 846 confirmed cases since yesterday, January 3, for a total of 193,655 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 460 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 41,126 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,459 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 173,995 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,598 active probable cases and there have been 33,903 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,178 confirmed and 622 probable. There are 1,296 hospitalized patients with 212 on ventilators, both new records.

 

Yesterday, 4,473 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in January to 26,925. Additionally, there were 439 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 3,808.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

12/31/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,837 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 30, a new record, for a total of 186,784 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 871 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 38,354 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,780 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 167,893 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,409 active probable cases and there have been 31,354 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,088 confirmed and 588 probable. There are 1,195 hospitalized patients, with 209 on ventilators, both new records.

 

Yesterday, 13,666 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 357,014. Additionally, there were 3,163 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 88,492.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

12/30/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,320 confirmed cases since yesterday December 29, for a total of 184,947 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 864 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 37,483 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,658 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 166,198 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,195 probable active cases and there have been 30,716 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,068 confirmed and 569 probable. There are 1,174 hospitalized patients with 205 on ventilators, both new records.

 

Yesterday, 8,843 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in December to 340,340. Additionally, there were 4,398 antigen tests performed yesterday, a new record, for a total of 85,329 tests this month.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new daily cases of COVID-19. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. The purple line is a seven-day rolling average of the number of PCR tests performed each day. The burgundy line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

12/29/2020

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 1,449 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 28, for a total of 182,627 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 1,269 probable cases since yesterday, a new record, for a total of 36,619 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,158 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 164,404 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,023 active probable cases and there have been 30,032 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,042 confirmed and 561 probable, with the total of 66 combined deaths a new record. There are 1,161 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 198 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 5,307 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 330,169. Additionally, there were 6,457 antigen tests performed yesterday, a new record, increasing the monthly total to 80,931. This is the first day that antigen testing is higher than PCR testing.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • In consultation with Dr. Romero and other health care officials, Governor Hutchinson is extending the health care emergency for another 60 days until the end of February. The Governor expects that they will take this up in the coming session, as they had expressed when they declined to take up his request for a Committee of the Whole meeting to affirm the previous declaration of health care emergency.
  • Arkansas has received 31,700 Moderna doses as of this morning, but only 1,780 doses have been administered to long-term care facility workers. Hospitals have administered 48.2% of all Pfizer doses to health care workers. Governor Hutchinson is asking all pharmacies to help distribute and administer the vaccines faster, so that by the end of January, all health care workers and long-term care facility residents and staff will be vaccinated. There will be an announcement in January to set who would be included in Phase 1B of the vaccination plan.
  • Most Arkansans took extra care during Thanksgiving, but even with that, the new daily cases increased by about 33%. Hospitalizations increased by about 10%. At Christmas, there has been increased travel across the country, and that means that there is a potential increase in cases and hospitalizations. Even with increased therapeutics and better treatments, that is a concerning trend.
  • Statewide, as of this morning, 5% of ICU beds are available, 21% of hospital beds are available, and 60% of ventilators are available.
  • The COVID relief package is helpful, and the state is preparing to set up what is needed to distribute unemployment insurance and other funds to help distribute the vaccines. The bill should include around $800 million for education in the state.
  • Asked about previous expected higher numbers of Moderna vaccine doses for the state compared to the lower number reported as of this morning, Governor Hutchinson said that they are receiving more doses per day and they may still hit the expected 50,000 doses for this week. The delay for the administering of the vaccine in long-term care facilities is a result of multiple issues. Informed consent from stakeholders and training people to administer the vaccine are easier in a hospital environment than at long-term care facilities.
  • The state will look into whether there will be a need to extend the ban on bars and restaurants being open past 11 p.m. It is currently set to expire on January 3.
  • Asked about the new money in the relief bill for the expansion of Medicaid to Marshallese and other displaced people and how those costs will be shared between the state and the federal government, Governor Hutchinson said that it was a positive development to cover them and will improve their health care at an important time. The increase in costs for the state for this extension of Medicaid coverage is not clear yet, but whatever the costs are, the state will cover around 33% of it.
  • Asked about whether he was concerned about bars and restaurants complying with the COVID restrictions for the New Year’s Eve holiday, Governor Hutchinson said that he was not as they had been working very hard to comply with public health guidelines. Fines and warnings have been issued by the compliance officers when locations do not follow the guidelines.
  • Asked about reports that fire fighters in Northwest Arkansas have been vaccinated already, Governor Hutchinson reminded everyone that the state includes health care workers, emergency responders, and people at long-term care facilities as part of 1A in the vaccination plan. Additionally, effort is made to not waste any vaccine, and so all doses will be used, moving through the priorities as needed until the current doses of the vaccines are finished.
  • Asked if there is any predictive modeling about what sort of increase in hospital capacity will be needed over the coming months, Governor Hutchinson said that it does exist, but that he isn’t aware of exactly what it says. That modeling led to the increase in beds that Baptist Health has started to bring online, and the Winter COVID Task Force will make additional recommendations as needed based on the modeling.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • Further increases in cases is expected due to New Year’s Eve parties. Small groups and nuclear family groups are strongly recommended. Additional cases threaten to overwhelm the capabilities of the health care system. Please follow the three W’s: wash your hands, wear your mask, and watch your distance. Have a safe and happy New Year, with your family in your home.
  • Some of the Moderna vaccine has been given directly to larger pharmacies like CVS and Walgreens, and the state is going to keep track of people who are vaccinated through both local and national pharmacies. Dr. Romero was not sure about the status of the state’s preparations for tracking vaccinations.

Dr. Jerrilyn Jones: Preparedness Medical Director, Arkansas Department of Health

  • COVIDComm has been successful in moving 64 patients to a different facility in the last two weeks. There were 207 requests for 122 patients in total. The lack of being able to move all 122 patients is a result of an uneven distribution of available beds and facilities across the state, as well as the need for those beds for non-COVID patients. Some of the patients have been sent to other states for care, as well as some Arkansas facilities caring for out-of-state patients.
  • Asked about the difficulties with distribution of patients, Dr. Jones said that they are working to resolve any issues that have arisen within the first two weeks. These issues include that some data is out-of-date or a bed may have been listed when there is no staff to cover it. Different hospitals have different plans for how to deal with the patients before they have been redistributed by COVIDComm, but most are kept in the emergency department.

Rachel Bunch: Executive Director of the Arkansas Health Care Association

  • It is a complicated logistical process to distribute the vaccines. There is work being done to speed up the process for those at long-term care facilities, including consent forms for the patients and their guardians. There are over 300 facilities across the state that will need the vaccines. Local pharmacies have been working late nights to prepare for vaccine distribution. The federal government is saying that by January 16 all locations that want a clinic will be offered one.
  • Some pharmacies received vaccines on Monday of last week, but others didn’t until Wednesday or Thursday. With key staff taking off for the holidays, they were not able to administer the vaccines as quickly as they would like.

Johnny Key: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Education

  • The additional education funding will use the previous framework for distribution. The Governor’s Educational Emergency Relief (GEER) funds will total $36.4 million. The Higher Education Emergency Relief (HEER) funds will be $205 million, which will mostly be distributed directly to the institutions themselves. The Elementary and Secondary Education Relief (ESER) funds will total $558 million. The new legislation did add some additional language to allow some of that money to be used for repairs and other work to help reduce the risk of virus transmission on school grounds.

 

 

12/28/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 889 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 27, for a total of 181,178 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 762 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 35,350 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,363 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 162,787 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,468 active probable cases and there have been 29,347 probable recoveries. Total deaths—3,005 confirmed and 532 probable. There are 1,155 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 201 on ventilators, tied for the record.

 

Yesterday, 4,382 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 323,530. Additionally, there were 2,272 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 74,376.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

12/23/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,000 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 22, for a total of 174,782 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 893 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 33,159 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,374 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 155,447 confirmed recoveries. There are 6,142 probable active cases, a new record, and there have been 26,577 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,939 confirmed and 437 probable. There are 1,110 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 174 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 8,604 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in December to 273,085. Additionally, there were 3,697 antigen tests performed yesterday, a new record, for a total of 63,179 tests this month.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new daily cases of COVID-19. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. The purple line is a seven-day rolling average of the number of PCR tests performed each day. The burgundy line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.

 

 

 

12/22/2020

COVID-19 Cases

There have been 1,110 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 21, for a total of 172,782 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 831 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 32,266 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,173 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 153,677 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,806 active probable cases and there have been 26,029 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,910 confirmed and 428 probable. There are 1,103 hospitalized patients, a new record, with 173 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 7,169 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 263,310. Additionally, there were 4,010 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 59,433.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

COVID-19 Updates

Governor Asa Hutchinson Press Conference

Governor Hutchinson

  • The hope for the future of the state is the vaccine. Thousands of doses have been coming into the state. There will be a large increase in capability of vaccination next Monday. As of this morning, 12,969 health care workers have been given the first dose of the vaccine in Arkansas over the first week it has been available. The state has been notified of its allocation for next week consisting of 23,400 doses of the Pfizer vaccine and future second doses for all those who have already received the first dose. The Moderna vaccine will be available for long-term care residents and staff, and there will be 17,700 doses available.
  • No decisions have been made for who will be prioritized for the next round of vaccines after health care workers and those in long-term care facilities. 1A is set for the vaccine. 1B, the essential workers, is being worked on, using CDC recommendations, as well as the importance of various industries in Arkansas. The over 75 population is also in the mix, but they expect to have more information next week. The Governor would like to hear from these groups in case any changes are needed, but there is no real rush as they are still in 1A.
  • Even though the hospitalizations have increased, they are not as high as anticipated after Thanksgiving, placing the state is in a better than expected position. As such, although the Veterans Hospital was opened to allow the use of eight beds for COVID patients, only two have been used so far.
  • Today, the state is partnering with the Baptist Health system to build out more hospital capacity in expectation of additional hospitalizations due to the Christmas holiday. This will add 124 new beds, both ICU and regular hospital beds, in Van Buren and central Arkansas. These beds will be managed by COVIDComm to allow for those outside the area to be able to use these beds as necessary. This will cost $7.4 million, with a hope that FEMA will cover 80% of the costs, and the state would cover the remaining 20% with previously allocated emergency management funds. This build out is one of the recommendations from the Winter COVID Task Force.
  • The Department of Health will be posting the directive for indoor venues that has been worked on for the past few weeks. This reduces the size that would require prior approval for safety precautions from the Department of Health from 100 to 10. This is to ensure the safety of indoor venues, not to limit events to 10 people. If the venue can prepare a safety plan for more attendees, it can still take place. This limitation does not apply to places of worship, retail businesses, community or school sponsored sports, restaurants, bars, or residences. All of those are either not regulated or are covered by another directive. This new directive will go into effect on January 2 and will run until March 1. These additional requests are not going to require more staffing, because the number of events has dropped due to the increased cases.
  • Asked about whether the limited number of ICU beds across the state is concerning, Governor Hutchinson said that is why COVIDComm was created, to manage those areas in the state where ICU beds are unavailable.
  • Asked about whether the January 1st increase to $11 an hour in the minimum wage in Arkansas will need to be delayed due to small businesses struggling, Governor Hutchinson said that he has not considered any delay. The increase is set by constitutional amendment, so any delay would not be possible anyway. Most issues for small businesses are more directly COVID related, not this increase in the minimum wage. With the new federal relief package, small businesses can get additional PPP funding, and the states will receive some help as well.
  • Asked about the UAMS report released today that said that most Arkansans would comply with mandated mitigation requirements, but wouldn’t if they are not mandated, Governor Hutchinson said that he hadn’t seen the report. While traveling, the Governor has seen compliance with all current mandates, and any future plans will be discussed before being put in place.
  • Asked about the relief bill allowing CARES Act money to be spent for a longer period, Governor Hutchinson said that they needed to wait for the bill to become law to say for sure what kind of needs could be covered. The additional money for broadband access will be very helpful for the state, as will money for rental and food bank assistance.
  • There are two main points to victory in this pandemic: the vaccine and vigilance. Please be vigilant this holiday season so that we can all make it to the vaccine.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

  • There is a large supply of monoclonal antibody treatments, which is highly recommended for senior citizens early after their positive test. They should reach out to see if they would qualify for the treatment.
  • The vaccine rollout has been successful, with no major glitches. About 51% of doses the state has received have been distributed. The vaccines have been studied well, and are safe, but the state is still tracking all those who have been vaccinated. As of Sunday, six people across the country have had some form of allergic reaction to the vaccine, and all those have recovered.
  • As we get closer to the holidays, please limit your gatherings to your household, wear your mask at all times, wash your hands, and watch your distance.
  • Due to the limitations of vaccine availability, there was a compromise to move those over 65 to a higher priority, as the models predict a much higher mortality rate for them compared to the younger population. This has also led to a split in the essential worker tier, where the first group will be first responders, educators, food and agriculture workers, manufacturing, corrections workers, postal workers, transit workers, and grocery store workers. After that group would be when the over 75 population would start getting the vaccine. If the amount of vaccine changes, adjustments could be made, but states have been given an epidemiologically sound recommendation for vaccine priority.
  • Asked about when Arkansas will move into starting to vaccinate those in 1B, Dr. Romero said that states have flexibility, but that it is thought that once the state hits 80% saturation of 1A, or if demand falls, that is when those in 1B would start to be vaccinated. Dr. Romero thinks it will take four to six weeks to get through 1A, even as they are working as hard as they can to vaccinate quickly.

Troy Wells: CEO, Baptist Health, member of Winter COVID Task Force

  • The Winter COVID Task Force will continue to look at additional capacity if needed. The first of two locations for the expanded hospital beds will be at the J.A. Gilbreath Conference Center at the Baptist Health Little Rock campus, where 50 beds will be placed that are capable of handling COVID patients. That will take about four to five weeks, and construction started last week. The Van Buren campus expansion of 74 beds, including eight ICU beds, will take about six to eight weeks, but in phases, where some beds could be ready sooner if needed.
  • These new facilities have not been staffed yet, either nurses or other pharmacy and support staff, although having them on the sites of the hospitals would allow for easier staffing. They are actively recruiting more staff, which is easier for the non-nursing staff. They are working on a plan to hire more nurses.
  • Within the next two to three weeks, another 30 ICU beds will become available across Baptist Health hospitals in the state.

Dr. Ivy Pfeffer: Deputy Commissioner, Arkansas Department of Education

  • The state will look at the new relief package funding to see what is available for schools and remote learning. Technology will need to be addressed to ensure that schools are able to pivot to remote learning if needed. Funding has also been beneficial for contact tracing at schools.

 

 

12/21/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,069 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 20, for a total of 171,672 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 388 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 31,435 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,589 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 152,76 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,569 active probable cases and there have been 25,453 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,885 confirmed and 410 probable, a tie for the highest number of deaths reported in one day. There are 1,078 hospitalized patients, with 174 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 9,178 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 255,005. Additionally, there were 1,013 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 55,309.

 

Governor Hutchinson made this statement: “Today we began receiving shipments of the Moderna vaccine (5,900 doses), with additional shipments expected tomorrow and Wednesday. We also received a second shipment of the Pfizer vaccine (18,575 doses). While this news provides hope for many, it is a continued concern to see the loss of 58 additional Arkansans (20 are delayed reports). We must steel our resolve to take every precaution to keep everyone safe.”

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

12/18/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There were 1,922 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 17, for a total of 167,434 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 956 probable cases since yesterday, a new record, for a total of 29,987 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 16,682 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas, a new record, and there have been 147,953 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,710 active probable cases, a new record, and there have been 23,911 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,776 confirmed and 363 probable. There are 1,073 hospitalized patients, with 181 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 13,816 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 217,750. Additionally, there were 5,262 antigen tests performed yesterday, a new record, increasing the monthly total to 49,812.

 

Governor Hutchinson has extended the state of emergency due to COVID until the end of December, and has called on the General Assembly to affirm the extension. Governor Hutchinson also said that roughly 40% of all Arkansans have been tested for COVID.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

12/17/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 2,282 confirmed cases since yesterday December 16, a new record, for a total of 165,512 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 757 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 29,031 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The total of 3,039 new combined cases is a new record. There are 16,446 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 146,287 confirmed recoveries. There are 5,213 active probable cases, a new record, and there have been 23,458 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,755 confirmed and 357 probable. There are 1,084 hospitalized patients, with 188 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 14,056 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total performed in December to 202,725. Additionally, there were 3,275 antigen tests performed yesterday, increasing the monthly total to 44,492.

 

The below chart shows the trend in cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. The red line is the cumulative number of confirmed cases in the state since March 1. The orange line is the cumulative number of confirmed and probable cases in the state since March 1. The blue line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed cases reported each day. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction. The data are from the Arkansas Department of Health and are current as of this afternoon.

 

 

 

12/16/2020

COVID-19 Cases

NOTE: On September 11, 2020, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he will no longer hold daily COVID-19 briefings, but will hold briefings on a weekly or “as needed” basis. inVeritas will continue to provide detailed updates as briefings are held. On a daily basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

 

There have been 1,638 confirmed cases since yesterday, December 15, for a total of 163,230 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There have been 668 probable cases since yesterday for a total of 28,274 probable cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. There are 15,862 confirmed active cases of COVID in Arkansas and there have been 144,621 confirmed recoveries. There are 4,912 probable active cases and there have been 23,010 probable recoveries. Total deaths—2,725 confirmed and 349 probable, with the combined 58 deaths yesterday being a new record. There are 1,079 hospitalized patients with 184 on ventilators.

 

Yesterday, 8,885 PCR tests were performed, bringing the total PCR tests in December to 187,828. Additionally, there were 4,696 antigen tests performed yesterday, a new record, for a total of 41,217 tests this month.

 

The chart below reflects Arkansas’s COVID-19 cases compared to testing in the state. The blue line is the seven-day rolling average of the number of new daily cases of COVID-19. The green line shows the seven-day rolling average for new confirmed and probable cases reported each day. The purple line is a seven-day rolling average of the number of PCR tests performed each day. The burgundy line is the seven-day rolling average of combined PCR and antigen tests performed each day. This approach controls for variations in data collection and correction.

 

The seven-day testing average data reflects the Arkansas Department of Health statistics whenever available. When data is unavailable, a mathematical adjustment has been made to reflect estimated testing on that day.