Governor gives updates on cases and vaccinations
(4/20/21) Governor’s weekly COVID update
The following statistics were shared at the governor’s weekly COVID-19 update on Tuesday, April 20, and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:
- 333.709 total cases, up 198 from Monday.
- 1,804 total active cases, up 15 from Monday.
- 5,706 total deaths, up seven from Monday.
- 177 cases requiring hospitalization, up 13 from Monday.
- 24 cases requiring a ventilator, up two from Monday.
- 10,082 cumulative cases in Garland County, no change from Monday.
- 22 active cases in Garland County, down two from Monday.
- 9,800 recoveries in Garland County, down one from Monday.
- 259 deaths in Garland County, up three from Monday.
In the past 24 hours, the number of positive PCR tests added in Arkansas was 132, with all being from the community (none from correctional facilities). There were 66 positive antigen results from a total of 1,081 antigen tests in the past 24 hours. The number of PCR tests received in the past 24 hours was 1,746.
Hutchinson said today’s 198 new case count is consistent with the same time last week, and the active case count rose by 15. He said they are watching the hospitalizations, of which there were 13 added today for a total of 177 statewide. He said this could be worrisome as some people may not report as a new case, but could be admitted to the hospital and later be added to the new case statistic.
“We will continue to watch that and it’s just a reminder that we do have the virus in our community and that we need to be careful and get vaccinated,” said Hutchinson.
In his vaccination progress update, Hutchinson shared that of the 2,291,620 total doses distributed to the state, 68%, or 1,558,345, have been administered. There have been 637,821 Arkansans fully immunized, and 335,631 have been partially immunized. There are approximately 41.7% of adult Arkansans, ages 18 and older, who have been vaccinated – 14.2% partially immunized and 27.5% fully vaccinated – which is below the national average. Of the 65-and-older age group, 52.5% have been fully vaccinated and 16% have been partially vaccinated. He shared that strides have been made in lessening the gap between the Black and White populations in terms of percentage of population that has been vaccinated. Among the Black population, 45.1% have been fully vaccinated and 15.4% have been partially vaccinated; whereas the White population has had 49.1% fully vaccinated and 13% has been partially vaccinated. He said the difference has been decreased from 9.5% to 4% in one month.
Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said they are learning more about the variants, which have a higher transmissibility rate and, at least with the UK variant, a higher mortality rate. In the past week, there has been a 25% jump in variant cases identified in the state, and a 70% increase in the number of UK variant cases identified. There was also an increase in California variant cases discovered. He said this is “just the tip of the iceberg” as not all new case samples are being tested for variants. He added that from the variant cases occurring in the northeast, they are seeing more cases among youth and the disease seems to be more severe than in the original strain.
“Now is the time to vaccinate. We need to get ahead of this. If we don’t, we can, we will have significant transmission and new cases here,” said Romero.
Stephanie Williams, ADH chief of staff, said that vaccine doses are being sent local health units across the state and vaccinations will be offered via appointment beginning next week. Call the health unit or the statewide vaccination call-line, 1-800-985-6030, to make an appointment. Information on other vaccine locations can be obtained by using the call-line or by visiting https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/covid-19-map-of-1-a-pharmacy-locations.