© 2024 KASU
Your Connection to Music, News, Arts and Views for Over 65 Years
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
These are featured stories of how the Upper Delta and Mid-South is combating the Coronavirus as well as resources to help those impacted by the pandemic.

COVID cases in Arkansas seem to be following familiar pattern

For a third day in a row, Arkansas reported more than a thousand new infections of COVID-19 on Thursday.

The Department of Health’s website showed there were 1,192 new known cases. State Epidemiologist Dr. Mike Cima says the number of new infections is following a familiar pattern.

“This is something that we saw last year as well as school began. We were exiting the delta wave of the summer in 2021 and cases were coming down. When school started we saw a little bit of an increase in cases, primarily among younger individuals,” Cima said. “The same thing seems to be happening again this year.”

With new infections outpacing recoveries and deaths, the number of cases considered active grew by 138 on Thursday to 10,843. That's about one-third fewer than on the same day last month.

Ten additional deaths were reported while the number of hospitalizations ticked up by two with 307 people being treated statewide. That is about 100 fewer than a month ago.

With fall beginning in less than a month on Sept. 22 and colder temperatures ahead, Cima says an increase in the spread of raspatory viruses, including the coronavirus, is expected.

“In the fall months, raspatory viruses tend to spread more efficiently,” he said. “It stands to reason as we get farther away from this summer peak and deeper into the cold weather months we will see another increase of COVID-19 cases.”

The predominant subvariant impacting most people continues to be BA.5, Cima said. It spreads more easily compared to previous strains of COVID-19, but doesn’t make people as sick.

Since the pandemic arrived in Arkansas in March 2020, there have been 927,072 cases of people becoming infected with COVID-19. The number of deaths in the state is currently at 11,887.

As News Director, Michael Hibblen oversees daily news coverage for KUAR. He handles assignments for the news staff, helps develop story ideas and edits copy. Michael isresponsible for starting a news-sharing partnership between public radio stations in Arkansas in 2009 which laid the foundation for what became Arkansas Public Media. He is also a regular panelist and fill-in host on AETN's Arkansas Week, where journalists discuss issues in the news.