FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Arkansans reflected on the past two years of the pandemic on Wednesday for the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s ‘Day of Reflection and Healing.’

Before looking forward to the next phase of COVID-19, ACHI President Dr. Joe Thompson said it’s important to remember the more than 11,000 Arkansans who died from the virus.

“It’s time for us to look at where we may still be hurting, or have negative impacts and to start to work to heal,” Thompson said.

Dr. Thompson said Arkansas is now in a better place to fight COVID-19 and is entering into the endemic phase.

“I think we are coming out of the pandemic,” Thompson said. “I think the Omicron virus or its sub variant that’s much more infectious is still looking for unprotected on nonimmunized people.”

If you are not immunocompromised, Dr. Thompson said it is safe to get out and about this Spring.

“I think we can actually start to resume normal activities and again, start to recover from the harm that this pandemic has done,” Thompson said.