Van Buren County COVID-19 numbers remain relatively steady, in contrast to the state-wide overall downturn in infections taking place, although the hospital reports some decline in activity related to the disease. As winter, and with it flu season, approaches, additional cautions are given.

As of Oct. 4, the county has 91 cases of the disease, up from 88 cases a week earlier. On Oct. 2 the county had 104 cases. This is against a low of presumably Delta variant surge cases, which had dropped to 64 cases Sept. 7, after a peak of 113 cases in the county in mid-August.

An additional death Oct. 1 now has 37 in the county having succumbed to the disease.

The state has 8,535 active cases as of Oct. 4, with numbers steadily declining from a mid-August 25,721 number, with 7,752 deaths. To date 481,843 Arkansans have recovered from the disease.

Vaccination rate in the county remains at 41.9 percent after a slow climb through September. The state is now at 52.6 percent of its population vaccinated, up from last week’s 51.9%.

Ozark Health reports indicators of a diminishing surge, while urging caution going into flu season.

From Ozark Health CEO David Deaton: “During the last week of September COVID-19 related cases accounted for about the same number of emergency department visits as the previous two weeks. The number of COVID-19 related hospital admissions has dropped sharply.

The number of monoclonal antibody treatments has also decreased significantly, to about half the number as compared to the previous two weeks.

COVID-19 testing volume and positivity rate remain steady. Scheduled surgeries and procedures are proceeding without interruption. The reduction in statewide numbers for COVID-19 related hospital admissions confirms the recent surge is in decline, with admissions decreasing by 18 percent over the last week, and 30 percent from two weeks ago. We are very relieved to see this development.

As we enter what’s traditionally known as “flu season”, we encourage everyone to remain vigilant and continue the enhanced infection control practices we have adopted over the last 18 months. Flu vaccinations are beginning to be widely available. Combined with other infection control measures, such as hand washing and staying home if you are sick, flu vaccines are one of the best ways to avoid and/or reduce the seriousness of influenza. As always, we encourage you to consult with your physician, nurse practitioner, pharmacist or other healthcare professional if you have questions about the seasonal influenza, COVID-19, or any other vaccine.”

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