More grim news from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement on the extent to which COVID-19 is rampaging in the population of the majority of the state’s school districts.

There are now 182 Arkansas school districts that have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period — up from 150 a week ago — which is a new record high for the second week in a row, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Wednesday. Forty-one school districts were added to the list this week, and 132 remained on the list.


ACHI also found that 33 school districts — up from 23 the previous week and also a record high for the second consecutive week — had exceeded 100 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, or more than 1% of district residents: Barton-Lexa, Bay, Bearden, Brookland, Cleveland County, Clinton, Danville, Dardanelle, Dover, Elkins, Gentry, Glen Rose, Green Forest, Monticello, Mt. Vernon/Enola, Newport, Ouachita, Pangburn, Paragould, Pea Ridge, Piggott, Pottsville, Salem, Scranton, South Conway County, South Side, Star City, Strong-Huttig, Trumann, Warren, West Fork, White County Central, and Wynne.


ACHI 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.


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 COVID-19 in Arkansas web page at

Points to remember: Arkansas has 269 school districts, so the population of more than two-thirds of them are in the top danger zone. But also remember that Arkansas measures these zones much more loosely than federal health officials, who describe a red zone as an area with 100 new cases per 100,000 residents. By CDC standards, nearly all school district populations are red zones.


And while we’re talking community spread of coronavirus and school districts, all mandated to teach in-person to the maximum extent possible by Governor Hutchinson, this popped up today: