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North Arkansas health leaders seeing more Delta variant COVID-19 cases

Published: Jun. 24, 2021 at 5:10 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 24, 2021 at 6:25 PM CDT
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HARRISON, Ark. (KY3) - Health leaders in Arkansas report a rise in Delta variant COVID-19 cases, just like across the state line in Arkansas.

On April 8, Boone County hit its lowest point in terms of active COVID-19 cases. Harrison Mayor Jerry Jackson says things were heading in the right direction, and he thought the community was seeing its way out of the pandemic.

Just two months later, they’re seeing another spike.

”So we’re going the wrong direction and we gotta do everything we can to nip this now before it really gets out of control,” said Mayor Jackson.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 27% of Boone county is fully vaccinated. While Jackson says its a choice whether you get vaccinated, you should take precautions.

”Get the vaccine if you haven’t. But if you’re not going to, please take the precautionary measures that we need to take,” he said.

Jackson isn’t surprised by the Delta variant with Boone County’s close proximity to Missouri.

”We’re not only a hub, Harrison is Missouri when you think about it,” said Mayor Jackson. “We do our shopping up there, our media comes from there, everything is Missouri. So when you look at Boone County, you really almost looking at Boone County Missouri. We believe that’s where the delta virus is coming from.“

Mandi Strode of Boston Mountie Rural Health Center says the recent trends show another spike could be possible.

”Probably I’ve had twice as many testing as I have fully vaccinated,” she said.

Strode believes effects are now being seen because of the lack of people getting vaccinated.

“This month has shown that we do definitely have more cases,” said Strode.

But with travel that can be more than expected.

”Summertime itself, the more tests you do, the more people that you’re going to find that are positive,” said Strode.

Regardless if summer travel is to blame, the numbers tell the story. Boone County has their highest number of daily active cases since the beginning of March.

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