COVID-19 deaths could double by end of October

KNWA

"We're going to be looking at roughly 200 deaths per day."

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — New UAMS models suggest the pandemic is far from over in the Natural State.

It’s not going to be over until well into 2021, if then.

MARK WILLIAMS, UAMS COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEAN

Research shows Arkansas could see more than 10,000 new cases in the next week.

UAMS Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health Dean Mark Williams said deaths are also predicted to skyrocket.

Arkansas passed 1,000 COVID-19 deaths on Tuesday, September 15. UAMS models predict that number could double by October 31.

Williams fears with so much time passing by, people may be forgetting to take this virus seriously.

He said if nothing changes, this could be our reality.

On December 23, what the models are suggesting is that 195 people in Arkansas will die of COVID-19 on that day.

MARK WILLIAMS, UAMS COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH DEAN

Dr. Stephen Hennigan is a local infectious disease specialist.

He said he’s not too surprised the models are going up considering the impact of schools in Arkansas reopening.

They can’t just be reckless, because what they’ll do in the process is they’ll kill people and some of them will die too.

DR. STEPHEN HENNIGAN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST

Governor Asa Hutchinson suggested some of the past UAMS projections have been off at his COVID-19 briefing on Wednesday, September 16.

“If you put it back in perspective, it shows some of the success we’ve had, but on the other side, they really give us a wake-up call as to the seriousness of COVID-19,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

“We’ve been within four percent of reality,” Williams said.

Regardless, the virus is here to stay and slowing the spread starts with Arkansans.

Dr. Hennigan said wear your mask and practice social distancing.

We’ve got very young people in the hospital, very old people in the hospital, we can’t predict it.

DR. STEPHEN HENNIGAN, INFECTIOUS DISEASE SPECIALIST

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