A record day for new cases and 11 more deaths. Active cases up roughly 5 percent. Hospitalizations edging back up.

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But at the Capitol today, you could hear many a legislator discounting the death rate. Only about 1.7 percent, some sniff. (The death rate from season flu is about .1 — one-tenth of one percent, BTW.) As if 1,645 dead people are inconsequential. As if the number isn’t likely higher because of COVID-19-related deaths not included.

Says the governor:

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“I expected the number of new cases to increase as we enter the last part of the week. This has been the pattern, but the cases reported today set a new record high. Our increased testing efforts allow us to find cases already present and react to them. Each one of us must be proactive in our individual efforts to help slow the spread of this virus.”

Here’s today’s hospitalization report from the Health Department:

Current hospitalizations: 594

Total Beds: 9,120

Total Beds Available: 2,276

Total ICU Beds: 1,054

Total ICU Beds Available: 127

Total Vents: 1,062

Total Vents Available: 707

Total Covid patients in ICU: 242

Total Covid patients on vents: 104

Also, from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement:

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NUMBER OF ARKANSAS SCHOOL DISTRICTS IN RED ZONE FOR COVID-19 INFECTIONS IN COMMUNITY DOUBLES IN ONE WEEK

 

ACHI Analysis Finds 26 School Districts Have Had 50 or More New Known Infections per 10,000 District Residents over 14 Days, up from 13 Last Week

 

LITTLE ROCK ― Twenty-six Arkansas school districts have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, up from 13 a week earlier, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Thursday.

 

ACHI identified school districts in the “red zone” for infections by analyzing data received Monday from the Arkansas Department of Health. The infections are among all people living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students. Known infections include confirmed cases and probable cases based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Department of Health.

 

“The doubling of the number of school districts in the red zone in one week is a cause for concern,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “Most of the districts entering the red zone this week are in rural areas, which shows that COVID-19 is affecting all parts of the state. Residents of these districts should be especially careful to take precautions against further spread: Maintain six feet of distance from people who are not members of your household and wear a mask when out in public.”

 

Rates of new known infections in school districts across the state, as well as counts of cumulative and new infections, are tracked on ACHI’s COVID-19 in Arkansas web page at achi.net/covid19. Rates and counts are not shown for districts with fewer than five infections, to reduce the possibility of identifying individuals.

 

The following 26 school districts had a rate of at least 50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or 0.5% of the population, for the period of Sept. 28 through Oct. 12. An asterisk denotes a district that entered the red zone this week.

 

  • Armorel School District*
  • Barton-Lexa School District
  • Berryville Public Schools
  • Brookland School District*
  • Cedar Ridge School District
  • Clarendon School District
  • Corning Public Schools*
  • County Line School District*
  • Deer/Mount Judea School District*
  • DeWitt School District*
  • Green Forest School District*
  • Hoxie School District
  • Jackson County School District
  • Lawrence County School District
  • Mammoth Spring Schools
  • Marked Tree School District*
  • Mulberry School District
  • Nettleton School District*
  • Newport School District*
  • Ozark School District*
  • Paris School District*
  • Sloan-Hendrix School District*
  • Spring Hill School District
  • Stuttgart School District*
  • Viola School District
  • Westside Consolidated School District*

 

Two districts that were in the red zone a week earlier, England and Magnolia, have dropped below that level in this week’s data.

Play ball!