Number of school districts in ‘red zones’ declines, COVID-19 deaths approach 1,900

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 363 views 

New known COVID-19 cases rose by more than 1,000 and there were 19 more deaths in Arkansas attributed to the widespread virus, but Gov. Asa Hutchinson said a comparative decline in cases amid increased testing is encouraging.

The Arkansas Department of Health on Thursday (Oct. 29) reported 1,072 confirmed and probable cases, bringing the cumulative known total to 109,712. The confirmed and probable deaths rose by 19 to 1,894.

“As I typically do, I looked back at last Thursday’s cases and compared them to today. We had 1,202 total new cases last Thursday compared to 1,072 today. This decrease was also recorded with an increase in total testing from this time last week. While these numbers may provide some encouragement, we know that we still have a long way to go to beat COVID-19,” Gov. Hutchinson said in a statement.

Also on Thursday the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) reported that 40 Arkansas school districts have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, down slightly from 42 a week earlier.

ACHI identified school districts in the “red zone” for infections by analyzing ADH data received Monday. The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students.

“We may be getting tired of this virus, but it is not tired of us,” noted ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “Uncontrolled spread in our communities threatens our schools. We must be vigilant, especially as we enter the holiday season. Wear a mask, practice social distancing, wash your hands often, and consider safe alternatives to traditional holiday activities such as trick-or-treating, Halloween parties, and in-person family gatherings.”

COVID REPORT – Oct. 29
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 101,588 known cumulative PCR cases, with 826 new community cases and 11 cases in correctional facilities
• 8,124 “probable” cases, up from 7,889 on Wednesday
• There are 7,672 active cases, up from 7,584 on Wednesday
• There were 10,906 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 1,241 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours with 259 positives.

Deaths
• 1,732, up 18
• 162 “probable” COVID-related deaths, up 1

Hospitalizations
666, up 4

Ventilators
100, up 1

Recovered cases
92,172

The top five counties with new known cases reported Thursday were: Garland (108), Pulaski (95), Washington (90), Benton (76), and Craighead (52). The counties accounted for 51% of the 826 new community cases.

As of Thursday at 5 p.m., there were 8,927,472 U.S. cases and 228,439 deaths. Globally, there were 44,859,998 cases and 1,178,410 deaths.

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