Arkansas sees increase in COVID-19 cases with start of school year

Number of children under 18 admitted to the hospital for COVID in Arkansas, by month - 8/31/21
Number of children under 18 admitted to the hospital for COVID in Arkansas, by month - 8/31/21
Published: Aug. 31, 2021 at 10:53 AM CDT|Updated: Aug. 31, 2021 at 3:23 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state officials updated the public with the state’s current COVID-19 case levels and vaccination rates, along with any change in guidance or directives.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson starts the briefing by remembering USMC SSGT Taylor Hoover who lost his life in Afghanistan.

Within the last 24 hours, the Arkansas Department of Health reports 2,626 new cases and 22 more deaths raising the death toll in Arkansas to 6,934.

Hospitalizations decreased by 45, with 1,212 remaining in the hospital.

The state has allocated funds to hospitals several hospitals to increase beds and to retain staff. St. Bernards Healthcare in Jonesboro is also included in the funding allocation.

With the school year underway, Gov. Hutchinson notes the drastic increase in cases of people 18 and under when compared to this time in 2020.

As of Aug. 30, the state of Arkansas has received 13,727 household applications for rent relief.

So far, $7.2 million in rent assistance has been paid out to Arkansans, with 2,505 applications being processed.

Dr. Jose R. Romero says the state is making “slow progress” in vaccinating the 12-18 age group.

The delta variant accounts for 99.3 percent of new COVID-19 cases in Arkansas, Romero says.

Secretary of Education Johnny Key said that Wynne and Osceola will hold vaccine clinics at football games under the Arkansas Department of Education’s “Stop the Hesitation, Get the Vaccination.”

In September, Gov. Hutchinson says 14 additional ICU beds are planned for Arkansas.

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