JONESBORO — Craighead County recorded 31 new coronavirus cases on Thursday, while statewide, there were 791 confirmed new cases, and eight more people in the state have died from the illness caused by the virus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said.

The new fatalities brought the statewide death toll to 442.

The total number of people who have tested positive for the disease since the pandemic began in early March stood at 41,559, while Craighead County’s total rose to 1,062. Eleven Craighead County residents have died.

The statewide numbers Thursday were similar to the report from Wednesday.

The governor said public schools in Arkansas remain on track to reopen the week beginning Aug. 24, and he said health officials plan to make an announcement Friday about fall high school sports, including cheerleading, football and volleyball.

Dr. Shane Speights, the city’s medical director and Jonesboro campus dean of the New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine at A-State, said Craighead County seems to be following a statewide trend for new infections. He said 63 percent are among the 25-49 year age group.

“Most of the cases are in the expected age group. Those that commute and work, go out to eat in restaurants and bars, travel, etc.,” Speights told The Sun Thursday. “Senior citizens (65 and older), for the most part, have been paying attention to the warnings and have limited their activities outside the home. However, they still represent the highest risk in terms of hospitalization and death (about 70 percent of deaths).

“On the other side, those under the age of 18 represent a smaller fraction (13%) of the cases because of one primary factor; school is not in session. As it stands now that will change in the coming months, unfortunately we may also see an increase with our senior citizens.”

While hospitalizations in Jonesboro have risen in recent weeks, Speights said the medical centers are well prepared to handle them.

“However, there is a trend of younger hospitalized patients than we saw in the beginning. This is likely due to the increased spread among that population,” he said.

Thursday Northeast Arkansas COVID-19 cases by county:

Craighead – 1,062 confirmed (up 31 from Wednesday), with 189 still active, 862 recovered, 15,568 negative tests, 11 deaths.

Lawrence – 173 confirmed (up 4), 18 active, 146 recovered, 2,097 negative, 9 deaths.

Greene – 280 confirmed (up 11), 87 active, 192 recovered, 5,802 negative, 1 death.

Poinsett – 141 confirmed (up 8), 36 active, 102 recovered, 2,401 negative, 3 deaths.

Randolph – 155 confirmed (up 3), 39 active, 114 recovered, 2,563 negative, 2 deaths.

Clay – 103 confirmed, 10 active, 89 recovered, 2,145, 4 deaths.

Jackson – 56 confirmed (up 1), 12 active, 43 recovered, 1,692 negative, 1 death.

Mississippi – 648 confirmed (up 23), 170 active, 470 recovered, 5,879 negative, 8 deaths.

Cross – 157 confirmed (up 1), 28 active, 128 recovered, 1,997 negative, 1 death.

Sharp – 97 confirmed (up 3), 18 active, 74 recovered, 1,493 negative, 5 deaths.

Crittenden – 1,135 confirmed (up 8), 99 active, 1,019 recovered, 7,602 negative, 17 deaths.

St. Francis – 1,104 confirmed (up 18), 138 active, 963 recovered, 6,012 negative, 3 deaths.

COVID-19 cases by community as of July 27, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, with cumulative total of confirmed tests, followed by number of active cases:

Ash Flat, 38, 0.

Bay, 11, 0.

Blytheville, 287, 95.

Bono, 48, 10.

Brookland, 42, 0.

Harrisburg, 22, 0.

Hoxie, 20, 0.

Imboden, 13.

Jonesboro, 835, 189.

Lafe, 12, 0.

Lake City, 16, 0.

Lepanto, 14, 0.

Luxora, 18, 0.

Manila, 15, 0.

Marked Tree, 20, 0.

Marmaduke, 14, 0.

Newport, 36, 0.

Osceola, 101, 27.

Paragould, 206, 57.

Pocahontas, 107, 34.

Rector, 36, 10.

Reyno, 11, 0.

Trumann, 47, 19.

Tyronza, 13, 0.

Walnut Ridge, 97, 18.

Wilson, 15, 0.

Wynne, 115, 28.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

inman@Jonesborosun.com