As vaccinations are now being administered to essential and other front-line workers, the numbers of COVID-19 cases continue to climb at an alarming rate in Clay County and the nation. Multiple additional deaths were also reported in the past week in the county, as the toll now stands at 39.
Statewide in Arkansas on Wednesday the number of positive cases rose to 276,114 up from 272,263 on Monday. Of those, 20,394 were considered still active, down from Monday's total of 22,794. The death toll also continues to climb in Arkansas, as it stood at 4,441, up from 4,343 on Monday's report.
Clay County's numbers are also continuing to rise as the latest report indicated a total of 1,501 cases, up from 1,479 on Monday. It also indicated there were 85 cases still active, down from the previous week's total of 112.
And as mentioned, the death toll continued to climb with an additional three deaths since last week, as the total number climbed to 39 lives lost to the virus among Clay County residents.
The Arkansas Department of Health is also rolling into the next phase of vaccine distribution, and have posted a map on their website indicating which community pharmacies are handling the chore. In Clay County there are currently two, Piggott Pharmacy of Piggott and Goodman Pharmacy in Corning. Under the latest phase those 70 and older are earmarked, along with many occupations—including educators. Those vaccinations were being distributed this week, with a mass vaccination also planned for local school districts.
Despite the distribution of the new vaccines, officials note it will still be weeks, if not months, until they are made available to all those who choose to be vaccinated. They strongly recommend continued caution, and encourage masks, social distancing and other precautions. The CDC and ADH also continue to urge 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.
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 state and county figures are updated daily, and may be found on the ADH website at www.healthy.arkansas.gov