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Numbers continue to surge: Arkansas reports nearly 2,000 new COVID-19 cases Thursday

Health officials blame the surge in cases on the spread of the Delta variant, relaxed mask mandates, and low vaccination rates.

ARKANSAS, USA — Arkansas' new COVID-19 cases went up by nearly 2,000 Thursday (July 22), and an additional 15 people have died from the virus. The spread of the highly contagious Delta variant has health officials bracing for a third wave of the pandemic. 

July 22, 2021, COVID-19 Case Report (all data confirmed through ADH):

  • Total Cases: 370,326 (+1,860) 
  • Total Active Cases: 12,779 (+876) 
  • Total Deaths: 6,035 (+15) 
  • Hospitalized: 849 (+1) 158 on ventilators (+2)
  • Eligible Arkansans Fully Vaccinated: 1,036,479 (+2,446) 40.53% of the population

Arkansas currently has the nation's highest COVID-19 rate. 

Health officials blame the surge in cases on the spread of the Delta variant, relaxed mask mandates, and low vaccination rates. 

A group of Democratic lawmakers in Arkansas has sent a letter to Gov. Asa Hutchinson requesting that he calls a special session so a vote can be held on overturning the ban on mask mandates. 

Schools across the state are also awaiting guidance from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) on safely opening with the new semester less than a month away. 

Gov. Hutchinson will resume his statewide tour next week, speaking with community members who may be hesitant to get their shots. He said the Delta variant is alarming and should ring a bell for most people to get immunized against the virus. 

"The Delta Variant alarm bells are creating a greater sense of urgency to get vaccinated," Gov. Hutchinson said on Twitter. "We have another day with the administration of over 9,000 vaccine doses, but let’s do even more for the safety of our children and families."

Arkansas released a report Thursday detailing how two children have died due to the virus. It's the first time Arkansans have been alerted about fatal cases of COVID in children in the state. 

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