COVID-19 positivity rates highest in southwest and northeast corners of Arkansas

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 1,381 views 

While Northeast Arkansas has been hit hard in recent weeks with a rise in COVID-19 cases, the Texarkana area in the southwest corner of the state has some of the highest 14-day moving average positivity rates.

Miller County, the home of Texarkana, has the highest 14-day moving average rate of 23.3%, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH). Rounding out the top five are Sevier County, just north of Miller, at 19.6%; Mississippi County at 19.5%; Lafayette County, just east of Miller County, at 17.2%; and Jackson County at 16.3%.

However, the counties in and around the Northeast metro area of Jonesboro have double-digit positivity rates. Following are the rates for six of the counties in that region: Jackson, 16.3%; Lawrence, 15.5%; Crittenden, 15.1%; Poinsett, 15%; Greene, 13.6%; and Craighead, 10.8%.

By way of comparison, the rate is lower in the more heavily populated counties of Pulaski (5.9%), Benton (9.4%), Washington (8.1%), and Sebastian (5.5%).

Wednesday’s ADH report also shows the cumulative known confirmed and probable cases rose by 961 to 108,640, and confirmed and probable deaths rose by 18 to 1,875. Gov. Asa Hutchinson used Wednesday’s report to praise the level of testing conducted so far during October.

“Today we reached over 300,000 total tests for the month of October. This means that over 10% of the population of Arkansas was tested for COVID-19 in the past 27 days. This could not have been accomplished without the remarkable work from the Arkansas Department of Health and its partners. While our new case numbers today are lower than they were last Wednesday (1,155), we still have to be disciplined, watch out for our neighbors, and follow the public health guidelines,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a statement.

Despite Hutchinson’s warnings, state leaders continue to struggle with the pandemic. A tenth legislator, Rep. Marcus Richmond, R-Harvey, disclosed that he tested positive for COVID-19 on Wednesday. Also, Dr. Greg Bledsoe, the state’s surgeon general and son of Sen. Cecile Bledsoe, R-Rogers, said he tested positive for the coronavirus. Dr. Bledsoe is an emergency room physician. Sen. Bledsoe tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week.

New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 100,751 known cumulative PCR cases, with 611 new community cases and 79 cases in correctional facilities
• 7,889 “probable” cases, up from 7,616 on Tuesday
• There are 7,584 active cases, down from 7,995 on Tuesday
• There were 7,105 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 1,457 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours with 306 positives.

• 1,714, up 18
• 161 “probable” COVID-related deaths, unchanged

662, down 14

99, up 5

Recovered cases

The top five counties with new known cases reported Wednesday were: Benton (79), Pulaski (66), Washington (50), Craighead (44), and Greene (41). The counties accounted for 45.8% of the 611 new community cases.

As of Wednesday at 3:30 p.m., there were 8,833,396 U.S. cases and 227,320 deaths. Globally, there were 44,304,816 cases and 1,171,119 deaths.