On the pandemic front, July was a tough month for Arkansas. The number of COVID-19 deaths rose 63.5%, the number of new known cases rose 100.5% and hospitalizations were up 84.3% between July 1 and July 31.
Numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) also show that active cases were up 15.4% in July, and the number of hospitalized patients on ventilators because of COVID-19 rose 38.8%.
The 63.5% rise in COVID deaths in Arkansas was significantly higher than the 19.3% rise in COVID deaths nationwide during the same period. The 100.5% rise in known cases during the month was also more than the 70.4% increase in new reported cases nationwide during the same period.
Known COVID-19 cases in Arkansas totaled 42,511 on Friday (July 31), up from 41,759 on Thursday. Of the 752 new cases, 33 were from correctional facilities. There are 6,645 active cases. The number of deaths rose from 442 to 453. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Arkansas was 507 on Friday, down from 504 on Thursday. There are 100 patients on ventilators, down from 101 on Thursday. There are 35,413 cumulative recovered cases.
The top five counties with new cases reported were: Sebastian (81), Pulaski (77), Benton (51), Washington (41), and Independence (31). The counties accounted for 39% of the new 719 community cases reported Friday. Friday was also the first time Sebastian County, home to Fort Smith, led all counties in terms of new known cases.
As of Friday at 1 p.m., there were 4,496,737 U.S. cases and 152,074 deaths. Globally, there were 17,334,593 cases and 674,038 deaths.
The state’s total death toll of 453 as of July 31 also outpaces the 434 predicted on July 31 by the closely watched Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. The IHME model predicted 763 new known cases for Friday, just above the 752 reported.
The most recent modeling from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences predicts 103,651 cumulative COVID cases by Nov. 26, with 2,592 hospitalizations and 777 COVID patients using ICU beds. The worst-case scenario predicts 168,570 cases by Nov. 14 with 4,214 hospitalizations.