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Public Affairs
Resources for Arkansas COVID-19

The latest Arkansas COVID-19 information and resources.

COVID-19 Updates

12/8/21 Update

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 weekly basis, we will continue to provide our charts with available data, as provided by the Arkansas Department of Health.

There have been 860 positive cases since yesterday for a total of 535,450 cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas, up 5,682 from last Wednesday. The total of 7,547 active cases is up 1,656 from last Wednesday. Total deaths are at 8,796 and increased by 109 since last Wednesday. There are 440 hospitalized patients, up 17 since last Wednesday, with 80 on ventilators, up 6 from last Wednesday.

Due to a delay in the release of Wednesday’s numbers, testing numbers were not available.

Arkansas has received 4,381,170 doses of vaccine, a decrease of 1,790 from last Wednesday. A total of 3,505,362 inoculations have been given (80.0% of available doses). This represents an increase of 82,010 since last Wednesday. Arkansas has at least partially vaccinated 1,797,969 people or 63.2% of the 5 and older population and fully vaccinated 1,463,789 or 51.5%, with an additional 340,501 receiving a booster shot. All Arkansans 5 and older are eligible for vaccination.

According to Washington Post data, across all 56 states and territories, on a per capita basis, Arkansas ranks 35th in new cases and 14th in new deaths over the last 7 days, 32nd in current hospitalizations, and 49th in total share of the 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, 2020. The blue line shows the 7-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

·     Studies have shown that over time, vaccinations decrease in effectiveness, especially for those 65 and older. This means that booster doses are imperative to increase immunity. Breakthrough cases are increasing among 65 and older people who have been fully vaccinated but have not yet received a booster shot.

·     Over 34% of those 65 and older have received a booster dose. Only 16% of those between 55 and 64, 10% of those between 45 and 54, less than 8% of those between 35 and 44, and under 5% of those under 34 have received boosters.

·     You are eligible for a booster shot six months after your second dose if you received Pfizer or Moderna doses, and two months after a Johnson and Johnson dose.

·     Arkansas has encouraged nursing homes and other congregant living facilities to hold vaccine clinics as well as ensuring there are clinics near them to ensure availability of the vaccine to those living there.

·     The Department of Health has reviewed the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences study that suggests that there will soon be a third wave of COVID. It is looking like the third wave is starting but with the increased vaccination rates, there is hope that the wave will be lower.

Dr. Jose Romero: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Health

·     Arkansas is about 5% below the national average of 5- to 11-year-olds receiving the vaccine. Parents should protect their children by getting them vaccinated as soon as possible.

·     As of Tuesday, Arkansas has not yet had a case of the Omicron variant. However, the state is still sequencing positive cases to screen for it. It is only a matter of time before the state confirms its first case of the variant.

·     The screening process for the variant has two different parts. Some samples are sent directly to laboratories to test for the variant. Some positive samples are checked for a particular sequence that is missing and then those are tested.

·     Positive cases among the unvaccinated are making up the bulk of current hospitalizations. Those breakthrough cases among the over 65 population who have not yet gotten boosted are far less of the current hospitalizations, but they are losing their protection and are more at risk now.

Johnny Key: Secretary, Arkansas Department of Education

·     The guide for kids about COVID and vaccinations has been updated for the current school year. It has information about Operation Warp Speed and how the vaccine was developed. It is designed to be read by parents with their children to help make an informed decision on getting vaccinated. The guide will be distributed to schools as well as to health departments across the state in both an English and a Spanish version.