COVID-19 cases are on the rise in Arkansas and Craighead County in Northeast Arkansas is among the top for new cases in the state. The Arkansas Department of Health reported there have been 9,494 new cases of the virus statewide during the last week.
At least 33 new deaths were reported during the last seven days raising the total to 11,643 since the disease began to spread around the state in March 2020.
The recent rise in cases is being attributed to the spread of the Omicron subvariant known as BA.5, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). This new subvariant appears to be more transmissible than previous variants of the disease, but it doesn’t appear to be more deadly than other forms of the virus.
Waning immunity to vaccines, people congregating in vacation spots, and the removal of lockdown measures that were utilized to slow the spread of the virus are among the other factors that are leading to the new wave of infections.
Since the start of the pandemic, more than 1 million Americans have died from the COVID-19. The daily national average for cases is just above 126,000, while the average number of deaths reported each day has hovered around 335, according to the CDC. There have been almost 90 million confirmed cases of the disease in the U.S. since March 2020.
Craighead County had 494 reported new cases and two new deaths. The number of cases is the third highest for any county in the state, trailing only Pulaski (1,411) and Washington (611) counties. Since the pandemic began, the county has registered more than 40,200 confirmed cases with 338 deaths.
Mississippi County has 246 active cases, and since the pandemic began, at least 214 there have died from the disease. In nearby Crittenden County, there are 219 active cases and 227 reported deaths since early 2020.
Greene County has 245 active cases and 182 total reported deaths. Independence County has 229 active cases and reportedly 215 have died from the disease.