Increase reported in school districts with high number of infected residents

by Talk Business & Politics staff ([email protected]) 513 views 

With active confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases setting new records almost each day, it’s no surprise that more school districts are in high contact areas, and a record number of districts have more than 1% of residents who are infected.

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) reported Thursday (Jan. 7) that there are now 179 Arkansas school districts that have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, up from 171 a week ago. The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students.

ACHI also found that 34 school districts – a new record – had exceeded 100 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, or more than 1% of local residents.

“We are fighting a battle against COVID-19 that too many are losing,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said in a statement. “While we have two highly effective and safe COVID-19 vaccines that are being distributed over the course of the next several months, the call to action remains this: Take the day-to-day precautions of washing your hands, staying at least 6 feet away from people who are not members of your household, and wearing a mask in public. Keep these up even after you get vaccinated. This is how we fight this threat and return to normal.”

The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) reported Thursday another 3,323 confirmed and probable cases, bringing the cumulative total to 245,916. Deaths rose by 25 to reach 3,926. Hospitalizations rose by 5 to 1,326. Available ICU beds rose from 42 on Wednesday to 47 on Thursday. Total confirmed and probable active cases rose by 892 to a new record of 25,984.

“Yesterday presented a lower number of new cases and higher testing than the day before. We also continue to receive and administer doses of vaccine throughout the state. It is critical that we all work together to protect ourselves and our neighbors as this virus steadily spreads across Arkansas,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement.

COVID REPORT – Jan 7
New known COVID-19 cases, active cases, tests
• 200,531 known cumulative PCR cases, with 2,250 new community cases and 27 reported cases in correctional facilities
• 45,385 probable cases, up from 44,339 on Wednesday
• There are 17,517 active cases, up from 16,954 on Wednesday
• There were 11,513 test results provided in the previous 24 hours.
• There were 3,796 antigen tests in the previous 24 hours.

Deaths
• 3,273, up 21
• 653 probable COVID-related deaths, up 4

Hospitalizations
1,326, up 5

Ventilators
218, up 1

Recovered cases
179,718

The top five counties with new known cases reported Thursday were: Pulaski (453), Benton (350), Washington (289), Faulkner (137), and Garland (133). The counties accounted for 41% of the 3,323 new confirmed and probable cases.

As of Thursday at 3:30 p.m., there were 21,468,084 U.S. cases and 363,519 deaths. Globally, there were 87,736,230 cases and 1,892,256 deaths.

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