For Immediate Release
July 30, 2021
ACHI RESUMES POSTING LOCAL-LEVEL COVID-19 DATA, REPORTS 100 ARKANSAS SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN ‘RED ZONE’
100 Arkansas School Districts Have 14-Day COVID-19 Infection Rates of 50 or More New Known Infections per 10,000 District Residents
LITTLE ROCK ― With the start of school fast approaching, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement reported Friday that 100 Arkansas school districts have 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents. Of those districts, 12 have 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 1% of residents.
ACHI posted the information to its website as part of a re-launch of its local-level COVID-19 data reporting, which the independent health policy center temporarily discontinued in February because of reduced testing rates.
“Arkansas has lost control of the virus,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said. “With new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surging, and with parents preparing to send their children back to the classroom, ACHI believes it is important for local leaders and parents to be aware of the risk levels in their communities. That’s why we have re-launched our reporting of COVID-19 data by school district, community, and ZIP code. Unfortunately, testing rates are still low, so please note that the numbers of infections reported underrepresent the actual risk in each community.”
Thompson said that although the level of spread varies from community to community, with the Delta variant raging throughout Arkansas, there is risk in every part of the state ― including every school district.
“Children under age 12 are not currently eligible for vaccination, so it is up to adults to protect them with defensive measures that we know work: mask-wearing, frequent hand-washing, social distancing, and ventilation,” Thompson said. “Unfortunately, the Arkansas General Assembly has handcuffed schools by prohibiting them from requiring masks, but we hope that before school starts our legislators and the governor will change the law to protect our kids. If not, parents can still help to keep their kids protected by teaching and modeling safe behaviors.”
The local-level COVID-19 data can be found on ACHI’s COVID-19 in Arkansas web page at achi.net/covid19. ACHI identifies districts with 50 to 99 new known infections per 10,000 residents as being in the “red zone” and districts with 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents as being in the “purple zone.” The districts are shaded in these colors on the school district map on ACHI’s website.
Before ACHI temporarily discontinued reporting local data, the peak for new known infections in school districts was reached in the week of Jan. 11. ACHI reported then that 201 school districts had 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, and 54 of those districts had 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 1% of residents.
ACHI identified infection rates by analyzing data received Monday from the Arkansas Department of Health. The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students. Known infections 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.
As of Monday, the following 100 school districts had a rate of at least 50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the previous 14 days:
o Barton-Lexa – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Calico Rock
o Cave City
o Cedar Ridge
o Cleveland County
o Cotter – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Cutter-Morning Star – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Deer/Mt. Judea
o East End
o Flippin – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Fountain Lake
o Green Forest
o Greene County Tech
o Harmony Grove (Saline County)
o Heber Springs
o Helena/West Helena
o Izard County Consolidated
o Lake Hamilton
o Lead Hill
o Little Rock
o Malvern – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Mammoth Spring
o Mt. Vernon/Enola
o Mountain Home – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Mountain Pine
o Mountain View
o Norfork – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o North Little Rock
o Ozark Mountain
o Perryville – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Pine Bluff
o Pulaski County Special
o Rose Bud – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Searcy County – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Siloam Springs
o South Side
o Two Rivers
o Valley Springs – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
o Valley View
o Watson Chapel
o West Side
o Westside Consolidated
o White County Central
o White Hall
o Yellville-Summit – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
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.