53 active cases in Garland County; Governor gives weekly COVID update

(11/30/21) 53 active cases in Garland County; Governor gives weekly COVID update

11-30-21The following statistics and information for Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, were shared at a press conference with the governor and/or were posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:

  • 16,180 cumulative cases in Garland County, up seven from Monday.
  • 53 active cases in Garland County, down three from Monday.
  • 15,726 recoveries in Garland County, up eight from Monday.
  • 399 deaths in Garland County, no change from Monday.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said he spoke to the White House today about omicron, but that there is not enough available information to make any decisions about this new variant. He hopes that by next Tuesday more data will be available. In the meantime, he continues to encourage vaccinations. 

Today’s case report included 1,044 new cases, the greatest increase since September. Active cases increased by 335 to 5,699, and there were 12 deaths, bringing the cumulative total to 8,667. He said the positivity rate has crept up to 9.1%, raising concern that the state is trending upward. Over the past week, hospitalizations are up 18%, and there are 19 more hospitalized today than yesterday, bringing the total up to 409.

Vaccinations have gone up 12,969 since yesterday, with 35.9% being first doses. Since Feb. 1, 2021, those not fully vaccinated account for 85.9% of the new cases, 87.9% of the hospitalizations and 85.9% of the deaths. Among the state’s COVID vaccine-eligible population, ages 5 and above, 50.7% are fully vaccinated. Among the most vulnerable population, those ages 65 and above, 72.3% are fully vaccinated. 

Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said that 30% of the new cases are among the 5-18 age group, and there are vaccines available for that group. He said this virus does affect children, and there can be long-term consequences. The virus also affects pregnant women, but he said the vaccine is safe and effective among this group, as well. He said they are surveying for the omicron variant. There is concern it could be more contagious than previous variants, but it is currently believed that the vaccines are effective against it. 

Romero anticipates more cases over the next couple of days, and if it continues, he said we are definitely in another surge. He said the state currently has hospital beds available, but with flu season beginning and the possibility of omicron reaching the state, he urges everyone to get vaccinated and/or COVID booster shots.