JONESBORO — The numbers of new coronavirus cases in Northeast Arkansas continue to tick up, following a state and national trend.
Since Sunday, Craighead County has averaged, 29.8 new cases per day, compared to an average 21.3 last week. Craighead had 47 new cases on Thursday and 28 on Friday. The number of active cases has grown by 49 in the past five days to 261. The county has recorded two deaths since Sunday.
Statewide Friday, The Arkansas Department of Health reported 732 new cases and nine deaths, raising the total since the pandemic began to 8,608. Hospitalizations rose by 12 Friday to 316 statewide. That’s an increase of 34 since Sunday.
Cold weather states are dominating the fresh wave of cases over the last seven days, including New Hampshire, North Dakota and Wisconsin, according to federal data. But the Southwest had trouble spots, too, with more than 90 percent of inpatient hospital beds occupied in Arizona.
The U.S. is now averaging nearly 87,000 new coronavirus cases per day, up from 72,000 two weeks ago, and hospitalizations are starting to increase again after steadily falling since the peak of the summer delta variant surge, The Associated Press reported.
About 59 percent of the U.S. population is fully vaccinated, or about 195 million Americans. In Arkansas, the percentage is 50.2 percent. However, the state has now lumped in everyone age 5 and older in that group.
For Craighead County, 45,625 or 43.6 percent are fully vaccinated. Another 8,825 (8.4 percent) have had at least one shot. The health department Friday reported 9,619 (9.2 percent) have had a third shot.
Percentages of fully vaccinated in neighboring counties: Greene, 41.6; Lawrence, 46.34; Poinsett, 43.2.