Case update: Arkansas COVID-19 cases increase by 828 Wednesday

The Arkansas Department of Health announced that COVID-19 cases in Arkansas increased by 828 on Wednesday.

State officals also announced 3 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state as a result of the pandemic to 8,595.

Hospitalizations were up by 24, bringing the total number of patients hospitalized in the state to 300.

There are currently 68 patients in the state on ventilators, up five from the day previous.

There are 5,444 cases of COVID-19 considered active in the state, which includes those that have tested positive by both PCR and antigen testing methods. The ADH dashboard currently lists 354 active cases in Washington County and 524 in Benton County.

There were 5,684 PCR tests and 1,824 antigen tests announced Thursday.

The new cases bring the total cumulative count in Arkansas to 521,563 since the pandemic began.

The top counties for new cases on Thursday were Benton (104), Pulaski (74), and Independence (39).

Fayetteville Public Schools are reporting COVID-19 cases in their district as well. The school dashboard on Tuesday, Nov. 16 showed two new positive cases, for a total of eight positive cases currently active in the district. There are 42 students currently in quarantine, and six of those are quarantining due to probable close contact at school. The district announced no new positive cases among staff, for a total of two active positive staff cases. Two staff members are currently in quarantine or isolation, according to the district’s dashboard.

Arkansas is averaging 532 new cases per day, or 18 per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, cases in the state are up by 21% over the last 14 days.

The state announced that 12,116 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, bringing the total number of doses given by the state to 4,309,960. The state lists 308,430 as partially immunized, and 1,425,137 individuals as fully immunized. The FDA recently announced it had given full approval for the Pfizer vaccine for anyone 16 and older. The vaccine also continues to be available under emergency use authorization (EUA), including for individuals from 12 through 15 years of age and for the administration of a third dose in certain immunocompromised individuals, officials announced.

The CDC recently announced a recommendation for a booster shot for those who received the Pfizer vaccine who are over 65 years of age, those with pre-existing medical conditions, and for individuals with occupations (teachers, health care workers, grocer workers, etc) that put them in close contact with the public. Here’s more info on that.

The CDC also authorized booster shots for those who received the J&J vaccine and the Moderna vaccine. Any one 18 or over that received the J&J vaccine more than 2 months ago is eligible for a booster.

Moderna boosters are now available to the same group eligible for the Pfizer boosters, including individuals over 65 years of age, those with certain health conditions, and individuals that work in high risk settings. Here’s more info on boosters.

The CDC recently authorized vaccines for children aged 5-11 as well. Here’s more info about those.

All Arkansans ages 5 and older are currently eligible for a vaccine. Those who need assistance locating a vaccine can call 1-800-985-6030.