COVID-19 is back on the rise in Arkansas

ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) – As summer begins, Arkansas is seeing an increase in active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations according to Arkansas Department of Health data..

Factors such as people using fewer precautions, different variants of Omicron circulating and less immunity to past surges, are creating an increase in cases, Dr. Joel Tumlison with ADH said.

“There’s definitely more COVID going around, there’s more risk of coming into contact with someone who has COVID,” Tumlison said.

ADH data shows 4,529 active cases of COVID-19 in the state. Cases were in the 1,000s in April. Hospitalizations also rose to 97, the highest number since April 8.

“There was a slight increase in hospitalizations,” Tumlison said. “Granted, our hospitals are doing well, they’re not overwhelmed by any stretch of the imagination with COVID cases right now, but we don’t want them to enter the danger zone either.”

UAMS’ Dr Robert Hopkins said COVID-19 cases aren’t the only thing filling hospitals.

“It’s trauma season, so unfortunately a lot of accidents, falls, that sort of thing, so fewer hospitals or COVID, doesn’t mean hospitals are empty,” Hopkins said.

Dr Hopkins said he was concerned but not worried about the rise at this time. However, as you enjoy your summer plans, he said it’s always important to remember that COVID-19 is here.

“Let’s not try to put on blinders to say that COVID isn’t real or isn’t here yet, it’s with us and if we give up on precautions, we’re giving the virus a chance to win,” said Hopkins.

Doctors say there is a new COVID-19 vaccine that may soon be another option for people. It is made using the technology used to create the hepatitis B vaccine that has been used for decades. Dr. Hopkins said it might appeal to those hesitant to get an mRNA vaccine like the Pfizer of Moderna option. You can read more about the latest vaccine here.

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