There are now 171 Arkansas school districts that have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, down from 182 a week ago, according to data posted today (Dec. 31) on our COVID-19 in Arkansas page. This is the third consecutive week that more than 50% of the state’s public school districts have been on the list. Eighteen school districts were added to the list this week, and 153 remained on the list.
Twenty-eight school districts — down from 33 the previous week — had exceeded 100 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, or more than 1% of district residents: Bald Knob, Barton-Lexa, Bay, Bearden, Brinkley, Brookland, Centerpoint, Danville, Dardanelle, Dover, Gentry, Hillcrest, Kirby, Melbourne, Monticello, Mt. Vernon-Enola, Nemo Vista, Pangburn, Prairie Grove, Salem, South Conway County, South Side, Strong-Huttig, Trumann, Warren, West Fork, Western Yell County, and Westside Consolidated.
Our team identified school districts with high 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.
“As this difficult year comes to an end, the newly developed COVID-19 vaccines give us hope for the future, but we continue to see uncontrolled spread of the coronavirus across the state,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “If we forgo traditional New Year’s celebrations and continue taking precautions including social distancing, hand washing, and mask wearing in public, our schools, hospitals, and communities will have a better chance of returning to normal before another year passes.”
Rates of new known infections in school districts across the state, as well as counts of cumulative and new infections, are tracked on our COVID-19 in Arkansas page. Rates and counts are not shown for districts with fewer than five 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 171 school districts had a rate of at least 50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the previous 14 days. An asterisk denotes a district that entered the list this week.
The following 29 districts were in the red or purple zone a week earlier but have dropped below that level this week:
- Camden Fairview
- County Line
- De Queen
- Forrest City
- Helena-West Helena
- Lakeside (Ashley and Chicot counties)
- Mineral Springs
- Mount Ida
- Mountain Home
- Mulberry-Pleasant View
- Valley Springs
- West Memphis
- White County Central