For Immediate Release

Dec. 9, 2021


John Lyon
Strategic Communications Manager


Number of Red-Zone Districts Is Highest in Over 2 Months

LITTLE ROCK ― Twenty-eight Arkansas public school districts have COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, up from 19 last week, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Thursday, citing its analysis of Arkansas Department of Health data current as of Monday.

No district has an infection rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, according to this week’s data, the nonpartisan health policy center said. Last week, one district had a 14-day infection rate of more than 100 new known infections per 10,000 district residents.

ACHI’s map showing COVID-19 infection rates in school districts ― available at ― uses the following color key: 0 to 9 new known infections per 10,000 residents over 14 days, dark green; 10 to 19 infections per 10K residents, light green; 20 to 29 infections per 10K residents, yellow; 30 to 49 infections per 10K residents, orange; 50 to 99 infections per 10K residents, red; and 100 or more infections per 10K residents, purple.

Most, but not all, of the red-zone districts on ACHI’s map are in northern parts of the state.

“This is the largest number of red-zone districts we’ve seen in over two months,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “This holiday season, as many of us go Christmas shopping in crowded stores and prepare to attend indoor gatherings with family and friends, we should keep in mind that the delta variant is all around us ― and possibly the omicron variant as well. The best protection is to get vaccinated. Start if you haven’t; get boosted if you have.”

This week’s count of red-zone districts is the highest since the week of Oct. 4, when 40 districts were in the red zone and none were in the purple zone.

As of Monday, the following 28 school districts had infection rates of at least 50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the previous 14 days. An asterisk indicates that a district is new to the list this week.

o   Blytheville*

o   Brookland*

o   Cedar Ridge

o   Concord

o   Deer-Mt. Judea*

o   Dierks

o   Flippin*

o   Greenbrier

o   Harrisburg*

o   Highland*

o   Huntsville

o   Izard County Consolidated

o   Jasper*

o   Mammoth Spring

o   Midland

o   Mountain Home*

o   Mountain View

o   Paragould*

o   Riverside*

o   Salem

o   Smackover*

o   Southside

o   Star City*

o   Trumann*

o   Valley Springs

o   Westside Consolidated*

o   White County Central

o   Yellville-Summit

The color-shading of a district is based on infections among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of each school district and not on cases among school employees and students.

Known infections reported by ACHI include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Department of Health.

Infection rates and counts are not shown for districts with fewer than five reported infections to reduce the possibility of identifying individuals. School district counts do not include infections among incarcerated populations, in nursing homes, or in human development centers.

ACHI also updated the maps and tables on its website displaying vaccination rates by public school district, community, and ZIP code, using Department of Health data current as of Monday. Fourteen school districts have achieved vaccination rates of at least 50% of district residents, but no district has yet reached a 60% vaccination rate.

ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development.