The number of sustained active cases of COVID-19 in Ashley County has fallen by more than half in recent weeks.

In the early days of September, the number of active cases of the viral-borne disease hovered at, above and just below 200 cases per day. As of Tuesday, Sept. 28, that had fallen to 87.

While significantly higher than when cases were in single digits during the early summer months, the local numbers reflect a statewide and national trend of declining cases.

Statewide, officials are reporting approximately 12,000 active cases.

Since the pandemic began, as of Tuesday 3,071 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Ashley County residents, and 42 have died. Five of those deaths were in the last calendar month.

Because cases are still high and COVID hospitalizations and mortality rates skew significantly against the unvaccinated, officials continue to urge vaccination for anyone who has not done so yet.

Tuesday afternoon, Gov. Asa Hutchinson took up the call of medical experts and received a booster shot during a news conference to discuss the state of the pandemic in Arkansas.

“Everybody who’s eligible, we want to encourage them to do that,” he said.

State Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero and Arkansas First Lady Susan Hutchinson also received booster shots at the news conference.

The Arkansas Department of Health’s recommendations for protection against COVID-19 include:

4Get the COVID-19 vaccine.

4Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Use hand sanitizer when soap and water are not available.

4Practice physical distancing. Avoid close contact with others, especially those who are sick, by keeping at least 6 feet between you and others.

4If you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 or develop a fever, cough, or shortness of breath, seek testing. Testing is available in many locations, including ADH Local Health Units.

4Wear a face-covering in all indoor public settings in areas of substantial or high transmission, whether you are vaccinated or not vaccinated. All areas of Arkansas currently have substantial or high transmission. 

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