County’s active cases increase: Hospitalizations fall statewide as cases rise
Just like last year, the arrival of colder weather in Arkansas is being accompanied by an increase in cases of COVID-19.
Despite the increase, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Sunday pointed out some positive news.
“In the last week we have increased by 10,000 the number of fully vaccinated Arkansans,” Hutchinson posted on Twitter. “While active cases are up by about 1,200 over last week, we have 30+ fewer hospitalized; and our deaths are lower than in some time.
“Let’s beat the predictions and have a safe Thanksgiving.”
The death toll from the pandemic also continues to rise. The number of Arkansans who have died from complications attributed to the novel coronavirus increased by 48 — a much lower total than last week’s increase of 70 — since last week and 118 in the past 14 days, bringing the statewide death toll to 8,615 on Monday.
In Carroll County, the death toll attributed to the novel coronavirus remained at 75, including 28 reported since late July.
According to Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health, the number of active cases in the state increased by 1,191 to 6,327.
The age group with the most active cases is 65-and-over with 908, followed by 25-34 year-olds with 898 and 35-44 with 888. Children between the ages of 5 and 11 are next with 872 active cases reported.
Monday’s report indicated a slight increase in COVID-positive hospital admissions — 314, up slightly from last week’s 282 and 24 more than two weeks ago — accompanied by a slight increase in ICU admissions at 132, up from 125 last week. Nearly half of those patients in ICU beds — 63 — have been placed on ventilators.
Since Feb. 1, more than 90 percent of those hospitalized in the state — along with a similar percentage of those whose deaths were attributed to the virus since that time — were not vaccinated.
Since the pandemic began, hospitalizations related to the virus have included 931 children under the age of 18, an increase of seven in the past week, including 119 ICU admissions. As of Monday, 1,833 of the state’s active cases — nearly 29 percent — were among children under the age of 18. More than 96 percent of those pediatric cases since Feb. 1 were among children 12-18 who were not vaccinated against the virus.
According to data distributed by the Arkansas Health Department on Monday, the state saw an increase of 4,410 new cases of the novel coronavirus — up from the 3,515 new cases reported the previous week — since Nov. 15, bringing the total to 524,170 cases. That number includes 509,074 cases described as “recoveries.”
Case numbers in Arkansas have risen steadily since July 31, when there were 380,625 reported cases. Since then, the number of cases has increased by approximately 37.7 percent.
In Carroll County, the number of active cases reported Monday was 37, up nine from last week’s number. The total number of reported cases increased by 31 since last week, when 18 were reported, rising to 4,369 with 4,257 reported recoveries.
On the vaccination front, Monday’s numbers from the state health department show that 1,431,179 Arkansans have been fully vaccinated against the virus — an increase of 10,067 in the past week — while an additional 316,686 have been partially vaccinated. Combined, those numbers account for approximately 61.4 percent of Arkansans aged 5 and older. In addition, 263,779 vaccinated individuals have already received their third-dose booster.
The drop in percentage of vaccinated Arkansans is because of some recent adjustments after the Department of Health changed the population count using the 2020 Census population for Arkansas and added individuals aged 5-11 years old, who are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. This change resulted in a decrease in the percent of individuals partially and fully immunized.
In Carroll County, the ADH reported Monday that an additional 537 doses of the various vaccines — down from last week’s total of 723 doses — were administered in the past week, bringing the total to 26,345 and setting the percentage of county residents who are fully vaccinated against the virus at 43.8 percent. An additional 8.6 percent have been partially immunized.