As our state deals with the spread of covid-19 in the midst of a global outbreak, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will publish five things you need to know each week. We'll be publishing these roundups in English, Spanish and Marshallese. You can read our full coverage at arkansasonline.com/coronavirus/. Coronavirus coverage pertaining to crucial public health information will be available for all readers.
Here are this week’s five important things to know about the coronavirus.
• Arkansas has recorded 334,222 confirmed and probable cases of covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data available April 23. State health officials have reported 5,711 covid-19 deaths and 326,534 recoveries. Officials also reported that Arkansas has given 1,599,699 doses of the covid-19 vaccine.
• State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said April 21 that an increase in cases and the positivity rate could be partly driven by covid-19 variants, including one from the United Kingdom. The variant is the most common one in the United States.
• Gov. Asa Hutchinson on April 20 encouraged college students to get at least one dose of the covid-19 vaccine before summer break.
• Although the number of Arkansans who have had at least one dose of the vaccine surpassed 1 million this week, the state’s pace of vaccinations is still below the national average. Arkansas has enough vaccine supply, but the rate is slowing, Hutchinson said April 20.
• The covid-19 vaccination rollout in Northwest Arkansas will continue without delay despite the national pause in administering the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, health professionals and clinic organizers said. Clinics focused on administering doses of Moderna or Pfizer vaccines this week.