Per the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, effective Monday, Nov. 23, Van Buren County is following the national and regional trend of increasing numbers of COVID-19 cases with a significant increase in the past week.

Currently the infection rate per 1,000 people in the county is 4.17, up from last week’s 2.18, itself a rise from .79 the last Monday of October. The North Central region, of which Van Buren County is a part, is at 7.03 infections per 1,000, remaining the highest regional score in the state and above last week’s 6.83 per 1,000 number.

The Central region includes Stone County, which at 1.52 infections per 1,000 remains the lowest in the state, and Jackson County with 25.54 making it one of the highest infection rates in the state. Jackson County includes the Arkansas Prison’s Grime’s unit. Infection rates in the state prison community have been above general population infection rates and can “load” a region’s score.

Central region, which begins at the Van Buren County southern line, is the lowest of the seven regions at 4.72 infections per 1,000, above last week’s 4.35 score.

To the east of Van Buren County is Cleburne County at 3.05 infections per 1,000. To its south if Faulkner County, 3.86 per 1,000 while Pope and Conway counties to the west are 6.21 and 7.77 per, respectively.

Van Buren County, per the Department of Health, now has 69 active cases, a significant increase over last week’s 36 active cases, itself a highest-ever number. This is of 329 cases to date with 257 recoveries. County deaths due to COVID-19 remain at three.

Arkansas has 145,173 cases, with 125,153 listed as recovered. November is the highest month to date for infection rates in the state, with the top-ten highest days for infection all taking place during the month. The highest day is Nov. 13 at 2,312 cases. The lowest of the top 10 is Nov. 7 with 1,598 cases reported in the state.

Updates may be found at healthy.arkansas.gov, ACHI.net/covid19 and the independent arkansascovid.com web sites.

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