The number of COVID-19 cases reported for Lawrence County remains low this week, but is up after the county dipped to only two active cases a week ago.

As of Tuesday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported a total of five active cases for the county.

The total case count stands at 2,069, reflecting four new cases since the previous Tuesday, when the total case count was at 2,065.

No new recoveries were added, leaving that number at 2,021, but the ADH has reported one new COVID-related death among Lawrence County residents, bringing that total to 43.

Governor lifts mask mandate

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during his March 30 news conference the lifting of the statewide mask mandate.

The decision to lift the mask mandate came after the Governor, in consultation with Secretary Jose Romero of the Arkansas Department of Health, determined that Arkansas had met the guidelines set on Feb. 26. Businesses still have the right to require customers to wear masks, and the Governor asked that citizens respect these requirements.

“I’ve talked to a number of restaurant owners who will continue requiring masks within their restaurant for the safety of their employees and patrons,” Governor Hutchinson said during his weekly COVID-19 update. “Please be respectful and mindful of that, while the mask mandate has been lifted, many businesses will continue to require it.”

The Governor also announced that vaccine eligibility is open to all Arkansans 16 and older.

“We want Arkansans to get vaccinated because it is our path out of the pandemic,” he said. “It is the way to get there quicker, and we want to ensure we give every Arkansan that opportunity.”

Arkansas continues to see fewer COVID-19 cases and more people vaccinated against the virus.

A total of 1,251,601 vaccine doses have been administered in the state, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

The Arkansas Department of Health also reports that 16.2 percent of individuals age 16 and over have been immunized in the Hospital Preparedness Region that includes Lawrence County. Another 12.4 percent of people 16 and older in that region have been partially immunized.

The Northeast Hospital Preparedness Region also includes the counties of: Craighead, Cross, Randolph, Greene, Mississippi, Poinsett, Cross, Crittenden, St. Francis, Lee, Monroe, Prairie, and Phillips.

Total COVID-19 cases in the state, since the pandemic began last year, were listed at 331,098 on Monday, an increase of 44 from Sunday, and there were 1,607 current active cases, a decrease of 125 from Sunday. Deaths statewide due to COVID-19 have totaled 5,648, an increase of five from Sunday.

Counties with the most new COVID-19 cases as of Monday included Pulaski with seven cases, and Lonoke and Mississippi counties with six each.

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