Resumption of in-person education leading to surge in Covid-19 cases

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One factor to take into consideration regarding Covid-19 rates in Arkansas is that since in-person schooling began statewide, there have been 10,018 new Covid-19 cases among students and staff in public schools, 248 in private schools, and 1,382 in universities, according to figures provided by the Arkansas Department of Health from August 1 to Sept. 2.

Eureka Springs is listed as having 18 active cases for a total of 24 since the school year began.

Eureka Springs appears to have an advantage by having the highest immunization rate in the county at 42 percent of all residents who live within the school district fully immunized. That compares to 27 percent for people who live in the Berryville School District and 23 percent who live in the Green Forest School District, according to figures from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement.

ACHI reports the following as of Sept. 6 as totals since the pandemic began along with new cases.

  • The Eureka Springs district has had of 702 infections, including 30 new infections for a rate of 39 new cases per 10,000 population.
  • The Berryville district has had 1,779 cases, including 119 new cases for a rate of 99 new cases per 10,000.
  • Green Forest has had a total of 1,295 total infections, including 59 new infections, for a rate of 82 new cases per 10,000 population.

Dr. Dan Bell said that higher vaccination rates are the key to ending the pandemic and giving people back the freedom they want.

“We are still at a very high rate with the number of active Covid cases,” Bell said. “The trend has gone down a little, but most likely will go back up with all the people who got together for the Labor Day holiday, and what is happening with schools and football games. This is no time for people to drop their guard. We need any strategy we can think of to get people vaccinated.”

Bell and his wife, Suzie, recently returned from a trip to Europe. One place they visited was Amsterdam where 75 percent of residents are vaccinated.

“They are not wearing masks in public,” Bell said. “Their numbers of new Covid cases are very low. They have much more successfully dealt with Covid because they are vaccinated.”

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