ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson discussed a surge in Arkansas’s new reported COVID-19 cases in a story published in the Saturday, June 12, edition of the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported 393 new cases on Friday, the largest single-day jump in nearly three months. Thompson said in an interview with the newspaper that as people return to pre-pandemic activities, those who are not vaccinated for COVID-19 are at risk.
“The virus is still present, and those people who are not protected are not safe, but we’re all relaxing, so the people who are not protected are going to be the ones that are infected, unfortunately maybe hospitalized, and, hopefully not, but predictably, some are going to die,” Thompson said.
With vaccines now available to anyone age 12 or older, protection from the virus “has shifted from government responsibility to personal responsibility,” he said.
“I suspect we will have continued infections that probably will fluctuate, and that we will have outbreaks where groups of individuals that were not protected came together, the virus was present and many of those get infected, just like when we started this epidemic and pandemic last spring,” he said.
“The virus is very effective at infecting unprotected people.”
Find more information about the pandemic on our COVID-19 in Arkansas page.