152 active cases in Garland County; governor gives weekly update

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

  • 16,494 cumulative cases in Garland County, up seven from Monday.
  • 152 active cases in Garland County, down five from Monday.
  • 15,928 recoveries in Garland County, up 12 from Monday.
  • 412 deaths in Garland County, no change from Monday.

Governor Asa Hutchinson said that last week Arkansas confirmed its first case of the omicron variant. Today, the CDC stated that the omicron variant represents 73% of the cases nationwide. In our region, that percentage is 92%. Hutchinson spoke to the CDC and the White House about the report and found that the 92% is for the region and is a projection. He said we are at the onset of the variant, so “we should have a good Christmas based on the adequate hospital space that we have. It also gives us a window of opportunity before omicron reaches its peak in Arkansas.” 

He said the vaccines are effective in preventing serious consequences in most cases, and vastly reduces hospitalizations. In Arkansas, 51% are fully vaccinated, but only 14% have gotten the booster dose, which is “where we have a lot of work to do” to increase the fully vaccinated and those with a booster dose. “That means that omicron has plenty of room among the non-vaccinated and the partially-vaccinated to do its work. And for the unvaccinated, hospitalizations will increase.” 

There were 955 new cases in the state today, which is up from last Tuesday’s new case count of 782. Active cases were up 253 to 7,571. There were 15 additional deaths from COVID. Hospitalizations decreased by 17 to 496. Those requiring ventilation went up by three for a total of 96.