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New ACHI report on COVID-19 cases a ‘reference’ point only for school officials

The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement unveiled known COVID-19 cases by school district designed to help school officials know about the virus spread.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement unveiled known COVID-19 cases by school district designed to help school officials know about the virus spread in the communities they serve. The state’s education boss said the data is for “reference” only and not solely to determine if schools should open or close.

According to Little Rock-based ACHI, the new case count report includes children and adults but does not include cases in prisons or nursing homes. The new report replaces active cases per district with new cases per district, with trend information created by showing 14-day case counts from the prior three weeks. The data is scheduled to be updated each Thursday.

“This information is intended to inform decision-makers, including policymakers, school personnel, and parents, about the level of risk in each school district and whether the risk is increasing or decreasing,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said in a statement. “With schools across the state set to open next week, we believe it is important that decisions be informed by the best available data.”

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