Effective this week as of Jan. 11, COVID-19 numbers in Van Buren County show an increase in infections compared to recent weeks. The increase reflects the same trend which is taking place state-wide.

In Arkansas, the past week has set records for per-day infections, hospitalizations and deaths.

Van Buren County is currently 7.62 infections per 1,000, a steady increase over the last seven days, which began at 5.50 infections per 1,000. While the 7.62 number is below the 9.37 infections per 1,000 in December, it continues to climb.

In November the county was 3.2 infections per 1,000.

Van Buren County is on the southwest edge of the North Central District, per the state board of health. The North Central District is currently 8.61 infections per 1,000, up from last week’s 7.93 per 1,000. This places it in the low-middle of the seven state districts, with Central, to its south, at 9.78 per 1,000 and Southwest to 7.02, the lowest.

Arkansas Valley District, to the west, is currently rated at 10.48 infections per 1,000.

Van Buren County had been one of the lowest per 1,000 infection rates in the district, but that has changed with its 7.62 score, placing it above Searcy County with its 4.95 score and Stone County at 5.60. Cleburne County, which had stood as one of the lowest per 1,000 rates in the district for most of the pandemic, is at 10.96 per 1,000 for this week.

Conway County, to the south, is 15.06 per 1,000, with Faulkner County at 9.97.

Numbers are anticipated to be less fluid into January as the impact of the holiday season is removed from testing access.

As of Monday, the county has 126 active cases, compared to last week’s 91 cases. This is still well behind the Dec. 19 163 case number.

Arkansas has 255,076, with 223,513 recoveries.

January is a record-setting month for cases in the state, with Jan. 1 with a record-setting single-day 4,304 cases. Since last week, Jan. 5, 6, 10 and 7 are the next four highest days, respectively, with 4,107, 3,705, 3,330 and 3,323 on those days.

Prior to January the highest single-day had been Dec. 24 with 3,204 cases in the state

State and national resources continue to predict infection rates rising in the early months of 2021.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Arkansas Department of Health head Jose Romero continue to emphasize the importance of masks, hand washing and maintaining social distance in combating the spread of the disease.

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

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