LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Center for Health Improvement announced 28 public school districts with COVID-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period on December 9 in a new map for COVID-19 infections.
According to a news release from ACHI, this number is up from 19 from the prior week.
No district has an infection rate of 100 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, according to the release.
ACHI’s map on school districts is available here.
On ACHI’s map, districts shaded red indicated 50 to 99 infections per 10,000 residents over a 14-day period while purple indicates 100 or more infections per 10,000 residents.
Most, but not all, of the red-zone districts on ACHI’s map are in northern parts of the state, according to the release.
“This is the largest number of red-zone districts we’ve seen in over two months,” said ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson. “This holiday season, as many of us go Christmas shopping in crowded stores and prepare to attend indoor gatherings with family and friends, we should keep in mind that the delta variant is all around us ― and possibly the omicron variant as well. The best protection is to get vaccinated. Start if you haven’t; get boosted if you have.”
The release says this week’s count of red zone districts is the highest since the week of October 4 when 40 districts were in the red zone and none were in the purple zone.
The release says the color-shading of a district is based on infections among community residents living within the geographical boundaries of each school district and not on cases among school employees and students.
Known infections reported by ACHI include confirmed and probable cases. Probable cases are based on verbal reporting and antigen test results, as identified by the department.
Infection rates and counts are not shown for districts with fewer than five reported 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, according to the release.
ACHI says 14 districts have achieved vaccination rates of at least 50% of district residents, but no district has reached 60%.