Several local schools still in 'red zone'
LITTLE ROCK ― Thirty-five Arkansas school districts have had 50 or more new known COVID-19 infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, down from 40 districts a week earlier, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement said Thursday. Nine school districts were added to the list this week, and 26 remained on the list.
ACHI also found that one district, Marked Tree, had more than 100 new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, or more than 1% of district residents.
ACHI identified school districts in the “red zone” for infections by analyzing data received Monday from the Arkansas Department of Health. The infections are among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of the school districts and are not specific to school employees and students. Known infections include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Department of Health.
“The decrease from 40 school districts in the red zone last week to 35 this week continues the slight decline we saw the previous week, when the number decreased from 42 to 40,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “Unfortunately, we are still in a much worse position than we were a month ago, when only 13 districts were in the red zone. Residents of these 35 districts should be especially careful to take precautions against further spread: Wash your hands frequently, maintain 6 feet of distance from people who are not members of your household, and wear a mask in shared public spaces.”
Rates of new known infections in school districts across the state, as well as counts of cumulative and new infections, are tracked on ACHI’s COVID-19 in Arkansas web page. Rates and counts are not shown for districts with fewer than five infections, to reduce the possibility of identifying individuals. School district counts do not include infections among incarcerated populations, in nursing homes, or in human development centers.
As of Monday, the following 35 school districts had a rate of at least 50 new known infections per 10,000 district residents, or more than 0.5% of the population, over the previous 14 days. An asterisk denotes a district that entered the red zone this week.
Buffalo Island Central
East Poinsett County
Greene County Tech
Marked Tree – rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10K residents
Fourteen districts that were in the red zone a week earlier have dropped below that level this week: Corning, Cross County, Gosnell, Green Forest, Harrisburg, Helena-West Helena, Highland, Mammoth Spring, McCrory, Osceola, Ozark, Piggott, Pocahontas, and Sloan-Hendrix.
ACHI is a nonpartisan, independent health policy center that serves as a catalyst for improving the health of all Arkansans through evidence-based research, public issue advocacy, and collaborative program development.