JONESBORO — The number of new confirmed coronavirus infections in Arkansas grew by 5.05 percent from Oct. 12 through Sunday, a slight improvement from the 6.18 percent jump in infections the previous week.
But in Northeast Arkansas, things became worse, with double-digit growth in Clay, Greene, Lawrence, Jackson and Poinsett counties.
Infections in Craighead County increased by 8.8 percent, down from 9.7 percent the previous week. But the 311 new confirmed cases averages out to 44.4 per day, and kept the county in the top five statewide several days last week. The county had 51 new cases Friday, 47 Saturday and 31 Sunday.
The illnesses are lasting longer, too, as active cases in Craighead rose 21.8 percent, from 463 on Oct. 12 to 564 on Sunday. In Greene County, active cases rose by 39.86 percent, from 143 to 200. The number of active cases in Poinsett County jumped by 41.67 percent, from 108 to 153. Active cases in Lawrence County leaped from 125 to 182, a 45.6 percent jump in a week. And in Jackson County, active cases climbed from 107 to 142, and increase of 32.7%.
In its Monday update, the Arkansas Department of Health reported 434 new confirmed cases, bringing to total to 93,790 infections since the pandemic reached the state in March, 7,450 of which were still active.
Hospitalizations totaled 613, which is up 41 from Sunday; 99 were on ventilators, an increase of 2 from Sunday. With 10 deaths added, the death toll rose to 1,562 confirmed. Mississippi, Poinsett and Cross counties recorded one new death each Monday.
The new totals were based on the results of 8,918 PCR tests and 803 antigen tests.
Pulaski County had 53 new cases Monday, followed in second place by Craighead with 45.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he was encouraged by the decline in the daily numbers, leaving him hopeful for the remainder of the week.
“I applaud our students and educators for reducing the active cases in our schools,” the governor said. “Let’s stay vigilant, and while cases usually go up in the next four days, let’s remember that it is up to each of us to do our part to help slow this virus and protect ourselves, our family and our neighbors.”
The Jonesboro School District had 23 active cases last Thursday, the latest information available. Only three districts had more. The Nettleton district had 21, followed by Brookland with 17.
Manila schools had 10 active cases. The Gosnell, Newport, Paragould and Sloan-Hendrix districts had six active cases, according to the health department. Greene County Tech, Jackson County (Tuckerman) and Valley View districts had five active cases each. The state doesn’t disclose information on districts with fewer than five cases.
As of Monday, Arkansas State University reported 43 active cases on its main Jonesboro campus, including 11 students who live on campus, 20 students who live off campus and 11 employees.
Northeast Arkansas COVID-19 cases by county through Monday:
Craighead – 3,885 confirmed (up 45 from Sunday), 187 probable (unchanged); 550 active cases; 32 confirmed deaths, 4 probable.
Greene – 1,183 confirmed (up 10), 76 probable (up 3); 196 active; 16 confirmed deaths.
Lawrence – 661 confirmed (up 7), 70 probable (up 2); 181 active; 14 confirmed deaths.
Poinsett – 872 confirmed (up 12), 154 probable (unchanged); 151 active; 16 confirmed deaths, 1 probable.
Mississippi – 1,998 confirmed (up 17), 80 probable (up 2); 224 active cases; 52 confirmed deaths, 11 probable.
Jackson – 462 confirmed (up 2), 157 probable (up 3); 139 active cases; 4 confirmed deaths, 1 probable.
Randolph – 493 confirmed (up 3), 100 probable (up 2); 80 active cases; 18 confirmed deaths, 5 probable.
Cross – 504 confirmed (up 3), 40 probable (up 3); 39 active cases; 19 confirmed deaths, 2 probable.
Clay – 403 confirmed (up 1), 27 probable (unchanged); 56 active cases;, 9 confirmed deaths, 2 probable.