LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to unfold, more localized information is needed.
On Friday, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement launched a new section on its COVID-19 in Arkansas web page, achi.net/covid19, that organizes data by region.
ACHI, in collaboration with the Arkansas Department of Health and the Arkansas Department of Education, has been posting COVID-19 data by community, school district, and ZIP code on its website since last summer. Local-level data continue to be posted to the page, but this new section will provide a look at new known COVID-19 infection rates, active cases in schools, new hospitalizations, and cumulative deaths divided by region. For this purpose, ACHI is using the seven-hospital regions identified by the Arkansas Department of Health.
“By publishing COVID-19 data at the regional as well as local level, we hope to provide local decision-makers with additional information about the impact of this infectious disease in their communities,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “While we are all eager to get back to some kind of normalcy, the reality is that COVID-19 will be with us for much of this year. This new information will help give communities a line of sight into how things are trending regionally as well as locally and help decision-makers assess risks, develop strategies, and track their communities’ progress in fighting this threat.”
The regional-level information includes new known infections per 10,000 residents over a 14-day period; active cases among staff, students, and teachers at K-12 schools; new hospitalizations over a seven-day period; and cumulative deaths. Also included are percentages of change from the prior week; trends across the past five weeks; and the ZIP codes and school districts with the highest rates of new known infections per 10,000 residents over a 14-day period. ACHI plans to update this information weekly.
A new known infection is defined as a positive test during the measurement period of the prior 14 days. New known infections include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the Arkansas Department of Health.