FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The Fayetteville Board of Health says Washington County is out of the COVID Crisis Mode.

With cases and hospitalizations low, Fayetteville city health officer Dr. Marti Sharkey says the board isn’t worried about local mandates ending.

Sharkey says as a society, the deaths seen due to flu are an acceptable number, and behaviors are not changed for them.

When COVID-19 deaths mirror bad flu season deaths, that’s when Sharkey says people feel more comfortable with restrictions being lifted.

“In Washington County, that would be about a death a week, or about a death a month in Fayetteville,” Sharkey said. “While we don’t want to see any deaths, that’s what we have said is okay as a society for us to still live our lives normally.”

Sharkey says it’s important to remember that cases and new variants could develop in the future. She says if that does happen, Washington County will know how to handle it.