Arkansas remains in the red zone for COVID-19, according to a White House state report issued to leaders on Monday, Sept. 27.
In the past week, Arkansas had 194 new cases per 100,000 population. To qualify for the red zone designation, states must have 101 or more new cases per 100,000. The national average for states is 93 new cases per 100,000.
Currently, Arkansas has the seventh-highest rate of COVID-19 in the United states. The report states that 66 percent of counties in Arkansas have moderate or high levels of community transmission of coronavirus, indicating that the counties are either yellow, orange or red zones for COVID-19.
According to the report’s methodology page, states can be listed in the red zone when there are more than 101 new cases per 100,000 per week; there is a 11 percent or more change in new cases per 100,000; there is a 10.1 percent change in diagnostic test result positivity rate; there is a 0.6 percent or more change in test positivity; there is a 11 percent change in tests per 100,000 population; there is a 2.1 percent change in deaths per 100,000 population; or there is a 6 percent change in skilled nursing facilities with at least one resident COVID-19 case or death.
In total, the White House report listed seven metro areas and 21 counties in the red zone. The metros included Blytheville, Forrest City, Jonesboro, Magnolia, Mountain Home, Pine Bluff and Texarkana. The counties included Jefferson, Craighead, Crawford, Mississippi, Lincoln, Baxter, Miller, Lawrence, Poinsett, St. Francis, Cross and Stone counties.
Two metro areas and 10 counties were included in the orange zone. The metros were Fort Smith and Malvern, and the counties included Benton, Faulkner, Sebastian, Pope, Carroll, Hot Spring, Clay, Little River, Bradley and Chicot.
Nine metro areas were listed as being in the yellow zone in Arkansas. Little Rock-North Little Rock-Conway, Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, Harrison, Russellville, West Memphis, El Dorado, Hope, Arkadelphia and Helena-West Helena were all yellow zone areas. There were also 20 counties in the yellow zone, including Washington, Lonoke, Saline, Crittenden, Union, Jackson, Randolph, Franklin, Clark, Yell, Phillips and Sharp counties were on the list.
These reports are issues by the White House Coronavirus Task Force on a weekly basis to governors throughout the United States. However, they have not been publicly released by the White House. The Center for Public Integrity has compiled the reports, and Arkansas Money & Politics has utilized the center’s database for reference.