JONESBORO, Ark. (KAIT) - Not only does Arkansas remain in the “red zone” for COVID-19 cases, according to the latest White House Coronavirus Task Force report obtained by ABC News, but the rate of infections also exceeds that of the United States.
In the last week, state infections rose 24% to 8,356 total cases with a rate of 277 per 100,000. The national average rate per 100,000 is currently 209.
The number of deaths in the state also exceeds the U.S. rate. Arkansas recorded 160 deaths, a 36% increase from the past week, to a rate of 5.3 per 100,000 people. The national rate is 2.0 per 100,000.
Pulaski, Benton and Washington Counties lead the state in the number of new cases in the last 3 weeks.
Craighead was ranked fourth and Greene came in seventh. The two counties also lead the task force’s list of those in the red zone:
Again, the task force recommends the state increase proactive weekly testing in orange and red zones. It also recommends limiting restaurant indoor capacity to less than 50% and restricting hours until cases and test positivity decrease to the yellow zones.
The report stated communities should take the following basic actions:
- Do not gather without a mask with individuals living outside of your household
- Always wear a mask in public places
- Stop gatherings beyond immediate household until cases and test positivity are in the yellow zone
- Get your flu shot.