COVID-19 continues its resurgence in Arkansas as active cases surpassed 5,000 this week for the first time since February. On July 8th , the Arkansas Department of Health reported 1,210 new known infections in the state and an increase of 49 hospitalizations. While discussing the Delta variant and the urgent need to get more people fully vaccinated, Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted in his press conference this week that “we are losing ground” against the coronavirus.

The last three days Arkansas reported over 1000 new cases per day. As of this publication there are 6,605 active cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas. This is a higher number of active cases within the state compared July of 2020 when the mask mandate was just put in place and more people were staying home. Hospitalizations are currently slightly lower as compared to this time last year as are those patients requiring ventilators.

Concerning the Delta Variant of SARS-CoV-2 in Arkansas
The Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) released a Health Advisory to provide the latest information regarding the emergence of the Delta variant. The increase in this highly transmissible variant underscores the importance of continued testing for COVID-19 for patients with compatible symptoms, as well as individuals who are not fully vaccinated and have been exposed to SARS-CoV-2 but may be asymptomatic. Social distancing and appropriate masking remain very important countermeasures. Vaccination is the most effective and long- lasting tool for protection from this infection. ADH continues to encourage all eligible persons to get vaccinated against COVID-19.

To protect yourself and others, the ADH recommends:

  • Get the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.
  • Practice physical distancing. Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick, by keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.
  • If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, seek testing. Testing is available in many locations, including ADH Local Health Units.
  • Wear a face covering when you are exposed to non-household members and physical distancing cannot be assured. Click here to read the requirements.