Healthcare Officials Fear Post-Thanksgiving Virus Spike

Thursday, December 3, 2020

Healthcare officials are bracing for a possible after-Thanksgiving spike in cases of COVID-19 across Arkansas, and the nation, as the numbers continue to rise. In the past week the Arkansas Department of Health reported two more deaths in Clay County, bringing the total to 21 since the pandemic began. Of those, 17 were positive for the virus while the other four were considered probable.

Statewide the ADH reported the number of positive cases rose to 161,521 by Wednesday, up from 157,359 on Monday, and well above the 145,173 reported last Wednesday. Active cases fell slightly in the past few days to 16,378, while the death toll in the state rose from 2,357 to 2,522 over the seven day period. Of those who have been lost to the virus, 54 were in correctional facilities while another 1,064 were from nursing homes in the state.

According to information from the ADH, there are slightly more women than men who have contracted the virus. The demographic with the greatest number of cases are those ages 25 to 34, followed closely by 35 to 44 and 18 to 24 then by the age groups 45 to 54 and 65 and over. Of the cases, the greatest underlying illness is high blood which is found in over 18,000 of the cases, followed by diabetes in about 10,000 cases. They further reported about eight percent of the positive cases have been among healthcare providers.

Of course, health officials are still urging all those who have come in contact with a person who has tested positive, or later tested positive, to be tested. Those individuals are also instructed to quarantine for 14 days, whether they get a negative test result or not, to help stem the spread of the virus. ADH officials are also encouraging everyone to get a flu shot, as the season gets into full swing.

Testing is being conducted at the Clay County Health Units, and at the Piggott Community Hospital COVID-19 testing clinic, located at the clinic in Rector. The Clay County Health Unit in Piggott may be reached by calling 870 598-3390 and the Rector Clinic may be reached by calling 870 595-3596. The two county health units have also been staying open extended hours on Tuesdays to provide testing and flu shots.

The state and county figures are updated daily, and may be found on the ADH website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov

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