Governor gives update on vaccination plan

(1/12/21) Governor’s weekly COVID update: Entering portion of Phase 1-B on Jan. 18

The following statistics were shared at the governor’s weekly COVID-19 update on Tuesday, Jan. 12, and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:

  • 259,553 total cases, up 3,209 from Monday.
  • 25,702 total active cases, up 168 from Monday.
  • 4,121 total deaths, up 40 from Monday.
  • 1,354 cases requiring hospitalization, down 17 from Monday.
  • 251 cases requiring a ventilator, up 17 from Monday. 
  • 7,106 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 175 from Monday.
  • 855 active cases in Garland County, up 89 from Monday.
  • 6,077 recoveries in Garland County, up 84 from Monday.
  • 172 deaths in Garland County, up two from Monday.

In the past 24 hours, the number of positive PCR tests added in Arkansas was 2,095, with 2,070 from the community and 25 from correctional facilities. There were 1,114 positive antigen results from a total of 4,334 antigen tests in the past 24 hours. The number of PCR tests received in the past 24 hours was 6,358. 

Hutchinson did not include an overview of the usual COVID-19 graphs during the briefing, but they are available at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/images/uploads/pdf/COVID-19_Presentation_1_11-a.pdf

In his vaccine report, Hutchinson shared there have been 227,500 COVID-19 vaccine doses received by the state. Of those, 89,449 (39.3%) have been administered. There have also been 3,884 doses administered by CVS and Walgreens at long-term care facilities. Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said that 3% of the state’s population has been vaccinated, which he said ranks Arkansas 17th among the states. 

Hutchinson said the state is on target to complete Phase 1-A by the end of the month. With this, he announced the state is moving into two categories of Phase 1-B beginning on Jan. 18 – those ages 70 and older and K-12 school employees, daycare employees and higher education faculty and staff. He said the state has been receiving around 50,000 vaccine doses each week from the federal government, which he expects to increase. Distribution will be coordinated at the county level. School districts will manage their employee vaccinations. Frontline essential workers are also in Phase 1-B, but will be included at a later date.

Hutchinson said he tasked Arkansas Army National Guard Major General Kendall Penn and A.J. Gary, director of the Division of Emergency Management, to have a COVID-19 distribution plan developed by Jan. 15, at which point it will be posted online. Also, Col. (Ret) Robert Ator, director of military affairs for Arkansas Economic Development Commission, will be the program manager for the state’s COVID-19 vaccine deployment, serving as a project manager for vaccine distribution to implement with ADH the distribution plan.

Hutchinson said ADH has the lead on the state’s emergency response, “but this is a whole of state government effort, and whenever we need the logistics support, the technical support, the planning capabilities of the military, we’re utilizing them”

1-12-21 ADH daily graphic