LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Arkansas Department of Health recorded 955 new COVID-19 cases and 15 additional deaths due to the virus in Arkansas on Tuesday, Dec. 21.

Last week, the state reported its first case of the Omicron variant. Today, it was announced the variant is detected in 92% of new cases in the southern region of the U.S., which includes Arkansas.

There are 7,571 cases statewide considered active by the ADH, an increase of 253 from yesterday.

A total of 496 people are hospitalized and 96 are on ventilators, with the statewide death toll increasing to 8,997.

Governor Asa Hutchinson also noted the top counties with COVID-19 cases:

  • Craighead: 116
  • Benton: 85:
  • Pulaski: 74

Of the state’s 4,408,200 vaccine doses, 3,628,871 have been administered, for a rate of 82.30%, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. 344,178 people have received only their first dose, while 1,490,961 people are fully vaccinated.

The governor noted that only 14% of those vaccinated have gotten the third booster shot, however he said he expects a “good Christmas with adequate hospital space,” in the event of a breakout.