LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Gov. Hutchinson announced changes to the state of the COVID-19 vaccination plan in Arkansas designed to get more people vaccinated sooner.

During his weekly coronavirus update Tuesday, Huttchinson said that starting Jan. 18, Arkansans 70 and above, as well as staff members of K-12 schools, universities and daycares, can get COVID-19 vaccines.

More detailed elements on the plan should be available online later this week.

So far, 89,449 people have been given the vaccine, with 8,653 receiving their dose in the past 24 hours.

Arkansas Health Secretary Dr. José Romero contested national reports that the state was among the worst in the country at vaccinations, stating that in fact, Arkansas had the United States’ 14th best vaccination rate.

The Arkansas Department of Health stated that there were 3,209 new cases of the coronavirus in the last day, bringing the total number of cases of COVID-19 in the state to 259,553 since the pandemic began.

The state reported that as of Tuesday there were 25,702 active cases of the virus, a jump of 168.

There were 40 deaths reported Tuesday. In total, 4,121 people have lost their lives due to complications of the virus.

There are currently 1,354 hospitalized across the state due to COVID-19, which is down 17 from Monday. Health officials also reported 251 patients on ventilators.