JONESBORO — Craighead County only reported four new coronavirus cases on Monday, but the county also recorded two of the state’s three deaths.
That brought the statewide death toll to 5,764, and the county total to 180.
On Tuesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced 233 new cases statewide; however, county-level information wasn’t immediately available.
While local numbers are low, largely due to reduced testing, data from the Arkansas Department of Health indicates the positivity rate inched up in some counties in the past week.
For the 14-day period from April 25 through Sunday, in descending order with last week’s rate in parenthesis: Randolph, 6.7 percent (3.8 percent); Clay, 5.7 percent (3.9 percent); Mississippi, 5.2 percent (6.4 percent); Craighead, 4.4 percent (4.3 percent); Greene, 4 percent (3.6 percent); Lawrence, 3.8 percent (3.8 percent) Jackson, 3.8 percent (2.4 percent); Cross, 2.8 percent (2.8 percent); and Poinsett, 2.3 percent (2.8 percent).
Hutchinson said health officials will adopt further guidance later this week on how to administer the Pfizer vaccine to children between the ages of 12 and 15. The vaccine for that age group was approved by the federal government on Monday.
“But this is an important news announcement so that parents can make plans to vaccinate their 12- through 15-year-olds, in addition to those that are … 16 and above, which has been previously approved,” Hutchinson said.
He said eligibility of the younger age group will make it easier for the state to reach the governor’s goal of vaccinating at least half of the state’s overall population by the end of July. Already, Hutchinson said, 47.2 percent of the state’s adult population has been at least partially immunized.