FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Arkansas is now in the top 3 worst states in the country for transmission, 7-day case count, and deaths.
All of these categories combined have caused analysts to label Arkansas as one of the least safe states in the country and ground zero for the Delta variant.
In the early stages of the pandemic, Arkansas was considered one of the safest states and we watched as national news networks zeroed in on states like New York and California. Today our state is the center of attention and local health experts say they don’t believe this has resonated with Arkansans.
“I don’t think it has fully baked in in terms of everyone’s perceptions of what is happening here in Arkansas,” said Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor for UAMS. “But, I can tell you that this has been entirely predictable; this is the way that viruses behave. Over a period of time, the virus finds people living in rural areas.”
Health experts we spoke with also point to Arkansas low vaccination rates as another potential factor at play.