Infection

A record 226 Arkansas public school districts, or 97% of the state’s 234 contiguous school districts, have COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Monday.

The report cites the ACHI's analysis of Arkansas Department of Health data current as of Saturday.

ACHI made a special update to the COVID-19 dashboard on its website Monday in response to the accelerated spread of the virus. ACHI also added a new color, pink, to the maps on the dashboard, available at achi.net/covid19, to signify an infection rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the past 14 days, or at least 2% of the district’s population.

In some districts, more than 4% of residents in the local community are known to be infected.

In the face of the immediate threat posed by the explosion of the omicron variant across Arkansas communities, ACHI calls for the following short-term actions:

Implementation of masking requirements for all staff and students in all schools across the state.

Virtual instruction for schools in the purple and pink zones.

Sheltering in place for seniors, families with unvaccinated children, and families with members who are immunocompromised or at risk because of health conditions such as heart disease, lung disease, diabetes or cancer; and suspension of public interactions or implementation of virtual options where possible on the part of municipalities, businesses and houses of worship.

“Because of the highly infectious omicron variant, COVID-19 is raging uncontrolled across our state,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “Unfortunately, we need to endure some temporary disruptions in our daily lives so we can stop the virus’ spread.”

Of the 226 districts with 14-day infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents, 61 districts have 50 to 99 new known infections per 10,000 residents (red on ACHI’s map); 110 districts have 100 to 199 new known infections per 10,000 residents (purple); and 55 districts have 200 or more new known

infections per 10,000 residents (pink).

Among the 55 districts in pink on ACHI’s map are:

Gurdon – over 3% of local community infected

El Dorado – over 2.5% of local community infected

Nashville – over 2.3% of local community infected

Prescott – over 2.2% of local community infected

Star City – over 2.1% of local community infected

Camden Fairview – over 2.1% of local community infected

Arkadelphia – over 2.1% of local community infected

Cleveland County – over 2% of local community infected

As of Saturday, 226 school districts had infection rates of at least

50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the previous 14 days. An asterisk indicates that a district is new to the list this week. South Arkansas districts on the list:

Arkadelphia – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Ashdown – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Bearden*

Camden Fairview – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Centerpoint

Cleveland County – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Cossatot River* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Crossett* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

De Queen* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Dermott* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Dierks* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Drew Central*

Dumas – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

El Dorado – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Emerson-Taylor-Bradley*

Fordyce* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Foreman* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Fouke*

Genoa Central*

Gurdon – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Hamburg – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Hampton* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Harmony Grove (Clark, Dallas, and Ouachita Counties) – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Hermitage*

Hope – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Horatio – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Junction City – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Lafayette County* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Lakeside (Ashley and Chicot Counties) – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Magnolia – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

McGehee* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Mineral Springs – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Monticello – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Nashville – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Nevada – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Parkers Chapel – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Prescott – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Smackover – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Spring Hill

Star City – rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Strong-Huttig – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Texarkana* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Warren* – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents

Woodlawn*

The infection rates reported by ACHI are based on infections among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of each school district and not only on cases among school employees and students.

Known infections include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Department of Health. Reported rates do not include results from at-home testing, thus the true level of infections is likely higher than that reported.

Infection rates and counts are not reported for districts with fewer than five reported infections to reduce the possibility of identifying individuals. School district counts do not include infections among incarcerated populations, in nursing homes, or in human development centers.

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