Springdale and Little Rock are the top Arkansas cities in terms of cumulative known COVID-19 cases since the pandemic hit Arkansas in March and in terms of active cases, respectively, according to updated data from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.
The city-level data provided by ACHI was updated Thursday (July 30) to include the number of active cases in cities with 10 or more active cases. ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said excluding cities with 10 or fewer cases reduces concerns about patient privacy.
Following are the top 10 cities with known cumulative COVID cases according to ACHI.
Little Rock: 2,362
Fort Smith, 1,289
North Little Rock: 730
Following are the top 10 cities with active COVID cases according to ACHI.
Little Rock: 495
Fort Smith: 348
Pine Bluff: 168
Hot Springs: 136
North Little Rock: 134
“Sometimes you look at the city-level data and you learn a lot as to what’s happening in the community in terms of the spread. It should cause everybody to be more mindful and should be information that should be helpful to them,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Thursday during his daily COVID briefing.
COVID CASE UPDATE
Known COVID-19 cases in Arkansas totaled 41,759 on Thursday, up from 40,968 on Wednesday. Of the 791 new cases, 32 were from correctional facilities. There are 6,580 active cases. The number of deaths rose from 434 to 442. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Arkansas was 504 on Thursday, down from 508 on Wednesday. There are 101 patients on ventilators, down from 108 on Wednesday. There are 34,737 cumulative recovered cases.
The top five counties with new cases reported were: Pulaski (73), Sebastian (57), Benton (47), Garland (44), and Washington (37). The counties accounted for 34% of the new 759 community cases reported Thursday.
As of Thursday at 1 p.m., there were 4,380,871 U.S. cases and 149,783 deaths. Globally, there were 16,810,315 cases and 661,917 deaths.
ELECTIVE SURGERY CHANGE, GUARD ACTIVATION
Interim Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero announced Thursday during the briefing that the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) is dropping the requirement that patients be tested for COVID prior to elective surgery. He said it may be “prudent in some cases” to continue with the tests based on the prevalence of the disease in the community, but the percentage of patients testing positive prior to elective surgery has been “far less than 1%.”
“Based on the retrospective analysis of the number of tests that were done and the number of positives that were encountered, which was a very small percentage, a decision was made to leave that decision up to the individual physician and institution,” Romero said.
Gov. Hutchinson also said Thursday he is activating 14 members of the Arkansas National Guard to help the ADH with case management. They are set to begin the work on Aug. 30. The 14 activated members join 28 Guard members still activated in support of the COVID response. Of the 28, five are providing logistics support to distribute personal protective equipment at a warehouse in North Little Rock, nine are providing case management and call center support at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville, and 14 are providing patient and facility support, as well as patient transport at a COVID positive isolation facility in Little Rock.
Gov. Hutchinson said Friday’s COVID briefing will include an update on fall sports, including cheerleading.