The number of school districts with alarming rates of COVID-19 is on the rise, the Arkansas Center for Health improvement reports.
One hundred eighty-two Arkansas school districts have COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, up from 140 a week earlier, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Thursday. The information is based on Arkansas Department of Health data obtained Monday.
Of those 182 districts, 42 have 14-day COVID-19 infection rates of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 1% of residents, up from 16 a week earlier.
“Infection rates in Arkansas communities have been increasing each week, and our soaring hospitalization and death counts bear out that we are in the midst of a COVID-19 surge driven by the highly contagious delta variant,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “This week, only seven school districts in the state have 14-day infections rates of fewer than 30 new known infections per 10,000 district residents. With the start of the school year imminent, it is crucial that school leaders use every tool they have to protect kids: vaccination for those who are eligible, universal indoor mask requirements, social distancing, good hand hygiene, and increased ventilation.”
The local-level COVID-19 data can be found on ACHI’s COVID-19 in Arkansas web page at achi.net/covid19. On ACHI’s map of Arkansas school districts, a district with 50 to 99 new known infections per 10,000 residents is shaded red, and a district with 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents is shaded purple.
PS: For the legislators who think kids don’t get sick:
There are 24 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized at Arkansas Children’s Hospital and 3 patients with COVID-19 hospitalized at its Northwest facility.