Across Arkansas, the number of school districts in the COVID-19 “red zone” has decreased in the past week but remains substantially higher than last month’s total.
According to a new report from the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI), in the past 14-day period, there have been 35 school districts that have had 50 or more new COVID-19 cases reported, marking them as a “red zone.” ACHI designates “red zones” as areas that have 50 or more infections per 10,000 school district residents over a 14-day period.
This was a decrease from the previous week’s report, when there were 40 school districts with 50 or more new cases.
Despite the decrease, the number of red zones has dramatically increased. Last month, there were only 13 school districts in the red zone.
“The decrease from 40 school districts in the red zone last week to 35 this week continues the slight decline we saw the previous week, when the number decreased from 42 to 40,” ACHI president and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson, said in a statement. “Unfortunately, we are still in a much worse position than we were a month ago, when only 13 districts were in the red zone. Residents of these 35 districts should be especially careful to take precautions against further spread: Wash your hands frequently, maintain 6 feet of distance from people who are not members of your household, and wear a mask in shared public spaces.”
One school district – the Marked Tree School District – had a rate of 100 or more new infections per 10,000 residents.
The school districts that were declared red zones include: Armorel,Augusta, Barton-Lexa,Bay, Blytheville,Brinkley*, Brookland,Buffalo Island Central, Cleveland County*, DeQueen*,Earle*, East Poinsett County, Genoa Central, Greene County Tech,Hillcrest, Hoxie,Jackson County, Jonesboro, Lafayette County*,Lawrence County, Manila, Marion,Marked Tree, Marmaduke, Nashville*, Nettleton,Nevada, Paragould,Riverside, Salem*,Stuttgart*, Texarkana,Trumann, Valley View, and Waldron.
The asterisked school districts are those that were included in last week’s report.