While too early to be declared a trend, COVID-19 cases in Van Buren County for the week of Aug. 30, which had showed a slowing last week, now show the numbers declining after the Aug. 15 peak in the most recent surge.

Aug. 23 had 94 active cases in the county, down from the previous week’s 98. On Aug. 30 the county was down to 85 active cases, with the death rate remaining the same at 34 total.

County vaccination rates continue to climb, with the Arkansas Department of Health showing 38 percent of the county vaccinated, up from last week’s 36.8 percent, that after several weeks in the 32 percent range. The state vaccination rate continues to climb, not at 47.4 percent after last week’s 45.5 percent after several weeks at 40%.

An equally steady trend is reflected in the local hospital’s number.

Statement from Ozark Health CEO David Deaton: “COVID-19 related cases in Ozark Health’s emergency department and hospital in-patient unit remained steady as compared with the previous week. Total hospital patient volume remains steady, as well. The rate of monoclonal antibody treatments decreased 15 percent from last week, but volume is still very high. COVID-19 testing volume dropped slightly, with the positivity rate increasing to 14 percent. Elective surgeries and procedures remain uninterrupted. Recruiting clinical (and non-clinical support staff) remains challenging.”

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