ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — People gathering for the holiday weekend could lead to more COVID-19 infections in the state.
From state health leaders to local doctors the message is clear, now is not the time to be lax on COVID precautions. Mark Williams, dean of the college of public health at UAMS, said this weekend’s parties could contribute to a greater spread of the virus.
“We know it’s going to show up so we just really have to wait and see, but we’re not optimistic that we’re going to see any downturns in the trends anytime within the next four weeks,” Williams said.
UAMS released a COVID-19 brief showing projections for the pandemic over the next month. According to the report, cases are leveling off, but at a high rate.
“We should expect to see daily case rates of 2,000 – 3,000 and maybe even higher, and hospitalizations will continue to increase,” Williams said.
Dr. Joe Thompson, president of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, said parties this weekend could be dangerous because of the contagious delta variant.
“We do have a serious threat this weekend with the level of transmission of the delta variant in all communities,” Thompson said.
Health leaders won’t be able to see the full impact of Labor Day events on the pandemic for a couple of weeks.