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COVID-19 in Arkansas: A Weekly Snapshot, Sept. 26‒Oct. 2, 2020

October 2, 2020

Author

Pader Moua, MPH
Policy Analyst
501-526-2244
PMoua@achi.net

 

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This week, COVID-19 reached the highest office in the land. Early this morning, Oct. 2, President Donald Trump announced he and first lady Melania Trump tested positive for COVID-19. This announcement came after reports that a close aide to the president, Hope Hicks, tested positive for COVID-19 on Thursday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday, Sept. 29, that 900,000 COVID-19 antigen tests were allocated to Arkansas, with 59,000 expected to arrive within 10 days. As these rapid tests increase in availability, questions about test accuracy become more prevalent. See our blog for discussions of two measures by which the accuracy of tests can be gauged: test sensitivity and test specificity.

One key metric being studied in the pandemic is the age distribution of COVID-19 cases. This week we revamped the age distribution graphic on our COVID-19 in Arkansas page to include seven categories instead of three.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health’s Educational Institutions Report released on Thursday, Oct. 1, there are 698 active cases among staff members, students, and teachers in the state’s public school districts. Total positive cases increased by 354 since the Monday, Sept. 28, report to 4,834, of which 3,563 are student cases. At colleges and universities, there are 438 active cases. The three institutions with the highest numbers of active cases are:

  • University of Arkansas in Fayetteville with 89 cases
  • Arkansas Tech University in Russellville with 51 cases
  • University of Central Arkansas in Conway with 43 cases

Total positive cases increased by 225 since the Monday report to 4,257 cases. Of these, 3,462 are student cases.

COVID-19 continues to impact the high school football season, now in its sixth week. Some of the known football cancellations due to positive COVID-19 cases this week include:

  • Maumelle at Beebe
  • Star City at Warren
  • Booneville at Danville
  • Hector at Conway Christian
  • Strong at Mineral Springs
  • Fort Smith Northside at Little Rock Central
  • Cabot at Little Rock Southwest
  • Lake Hamilton at Little Rock Parkview
  • El Dorado at Pine Bluff

 

On our COVID-19 in Arkansas page this week, we began reporting “known infections” in the COVID-19: Local Data dashboard. Known infections include confirmed cases and probable cases based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Arkansas Department of Health. Previously, our counts were only confirmed cases. All the data in the dashboard have been updated through Monday. Some key data points:

By School District

There are nine school districts in the red zone this week as of Monday, up from seven last week. Four of the districts were in the red zone in the prior week. School districts in the red zone have 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents in the community during a 14-day period. These districts are:

  • Clarendon: 83 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Lawrence County: 70 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Deer/Mt. Judea: 68 new known infections per 10K residents
  • England: 64 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Mammoth Spring: 59 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Pine Bluff: 58 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Jasper: 56 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Hoxie: 53 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Riverside: 52 new known infections per 10K residents

England and Hoxie school have high school football games scheduled tonight. In addition, today is Hoxie’s 2020-2021 Football Coronation Day, with activities during the day that are open to the public.

By Community

The communities with the highest new known infection rates per 10,000 residents as of Sept. 28:

  • Holly Grove: 165 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Altheimer: 156 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Black Rock: 110 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Jasper: 81 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Walnut Ridge: 68 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Stamps: 67 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Mammoth Spring: 66 new known infections per 10K residents
  • England: 64 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Prescott: 49 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Pine Bluff: 49 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Mountain View: 49 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Melbourne: 49 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Monette: 48 new known infections per 10K residents
  • Berryville: 48 new known infections per 10K residents

By ZIP Code

The ZIP codes with the highest rates of new known infections as of Sept. 28:

  • 72069: 166 new known infections per 10K residents
  • 72004: 157 new known infections per 10K residents
  • 72415: 111 new known infections per 10K residents
  • 72641: 82 new known infections per 10K residents
  • 72476: 68 new known infections per 10K residents
  • 71860: 68 new known infections per 10K residents