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Arkansas ‘going in the wrong direction’ in COVID battle

Gov. Asa Hutchinson addressed the growing COVID-19 cases during his Tuesday briefing.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson addressed the growing COVID-19 cases during his Tuesday briefing.(KAIT-TV)
Published: Jun. 29, 2021 at 11:19 AM CDT|Updated: Jun. 29, 2021 at 1:53 PM CDT
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JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - With the number of new cases and deaths rising, Arkansas health officials say the state is going in the wrong direction when it comes to battling COVID-19.

Dr. Cam Patterson, the chancellor of UAMS, made that pronouncement Tuesday, June 29, during Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s weekly briefing.

According to the Department of Health, there was an increase of 479 new cases within the last 24 hours. Active cases rose by 196. Eight more people died.

The COVID-19 numbers for the state of Arkansas on Tuesday, June 29.
The COVID-19 numbers for the state of Arkansas on Tuesday, June 29.(KAIT-TV)

The number of hospitalizations was down, but those on ventilators rose by 6.

The seven-day rolling average of positive cases shows a steady increase.

The COVID-19 numbers for the state of Arkansas on Tuesday, June 29.
The COVID-19 numbers for the state of Arkansas on Tuesday, June 29.(KAIT-TV)

With the 4th of July holiday swiftly approaching, Hutchinson said he knew that many Arkansans would be celebrating by traveling, going to the lake, and having backyard cookouts.

“If you are not vaccinated, please, take responsibility,” Hutchinson pleaded. “Don’t add to the spread.”

He and Patterson noted that the Delta variant is “predominant” in Arkansas.

“The Delta variant is about 70 percent more contagious,” Patterson said.

The UAMS chancellor also noted that 90.5 percent of the state’s active cases are not fully immunized. Of the more than 3,700 people who have been hospitalized since the vaccines became available, 98.3 percent were not immunized.

Of the 3,765 Arkansans hospitalized since Jan. 26, the ADH says 98.3% were not immunized...
Of the 3,765 Arkansans hospitalized since Jan. 26, the ADH says 98.3% were not immunized against COVID-19.(KAIT-TV)

Despite the pronounced increase in the number of cases, Gov. Hutchinson said he has no plans to issue emergency action.

“It’s all set,” Hutchinson said. “We’re managing this. We’re working it. We’re treating it seriously. We’re doing all that we can.”

The briefing was live-streamed on the governor’s YouTube channel:

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