Friday (July 9) was the third consecutive day that new COVID-19 cases in Arkansas topped 1,000, and the rise in active cases in the past three days has risen more than 27%, according to the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH).
ADH numbers show 1,000 new cases on Wednesday, 1,210 on Thursday and 1,155 on Friday. The state’s cumulative number of cases is 355,462, and active cases rose by 673 on Friday to 6,605, which is 27.2% more than the 5,192 on Wednesday. Deaths rose by 4 to 5,948, and hospitalizations rose by 16 to 497.
The Health Policy Board of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI) issued a statement Friday explaining the danger of the more transmissible COVID Delta variant and urging Arkansans to get vaccinated.
“Arkansas is currently experiencing an escalation of COVID-19 driven by the more infectious Delta variant. At the same time, Arkansas is one of the least protected states in the nation because of low vaccine uptake. Together, these two facts are cause for alarm, and the result is reflected in the current rise in cases seen across our communities,” noted part of the ACHI board statement.
ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said in the statement that more must be done to contain the virus before schools open.
“This is an important call to action. As a pediatrician, I want to remind everyone that while adults can choose whether to become protected, children under age 12 are not currently eligible for vaccination and must rely on adults to act responsibly and curb the spread of COVID-19. And with schools and colleges opening in just a few weeks, we have a short window to make sure our children are protected,” Thompson said.
Thompson also said the public should be aware that the Delta variant may cause symptoms that differ from those that have previously been associated with COVID-19.
“Instead of the cough and fever that COVID patients typically have reported, the most common symptoms reported from the Delta variant are headaches, runny noses, and sore throats,” he said. “This means that infected people may not realize they are infected, so they may not seek testing or health care and may not realize they should self-quarantine. If you have cold-like symptoms and suspect you may have COVID-19, I urge you to get tested.”