Northern Arkansas counties reporting an increase in COVID-19 cases

Published: Jun. 30, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark. (KY3) - The Centers for Disease Control placed Baxter County in the high category for their COVID-19 community level.

Baxter County is one of just three counties in Arkansas in the high category, and only 12% of the counties in the United States are in that category.

According to the New York Times, Baxter County has seen a 45% increase in active cases over the last 14 days, the effects of which are being felt at Baxter Regional Medical Center.

In Arkansas, the state’s count of cases rose Wednesday by 1,332, the second daily increase in a row that topped 1,000 and the third-largest one-day spike since February.

“You are hearing more of this long COVID and people having these symptoms that they’re finding may be linked to COVID,” said Stephanie Free, BRMC Infection Prevention coordinator. “We’re seeing more people now who have COVID twice or even a third time.”

Surrounding counties, Marion and Stone, are seeing moderate transmission rates, according to the CDC. The remainder of the Ozarks is still in the low transmission category.

“Our active COVID cases have been in the 20′s, 40′s, someday even in the teens. As of today, though, we are at 162,” said Free. “A lot of people we have talked to with the cases seem to have traveled. So travel seems to be a common denominator among several of them.”

Baxter Regional says its COVID-19 wing is on standby in the case of overflow but has not been needed in several months, primarily due to the limited severity of recent instances.

On Wednesday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported that the number of patients hospitalized with the coronavirus had risen by 30 to 241, the highest level since March 13.

“The good news is a lot of these patients are not nearly as sick as what we’ve seen in previous surges,” said Free. “So a lot of them are able to go home, they’re not on the vent, we don’t have hospitalizations that are as long as what we’ve seen in the past.”

Click here to see a county-by-county breakdown of current transmission rates.

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