FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – At one point in Arkansas, we were seeing thousands of new COVID-19 cases per day. Lately, our daily numbers have been about 300-400, but the man who runs Arkansas’s only health sciences university tells us many of these new cases are more severe and are impacting a completely different age group.

We are not out of the woods by any stretch of imagination.”


When the COVID-19 pandemic first began, it was the elderly population and some others who doctors warned needed to be most worried.

Now, UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson says the virus is becoming a big concern for younger adults in their 20s, 30s and 40s.

“They’re not just getting sick, they’re having to come into the hospital.”

In northwest Arkansas, there are currently 42 hospitalized with the virus. 28 of those are in the ICU.

State epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha points to the Delta variant as the reason for the uptick.

“Likely, it is a spillover from the increase in cases in southern Missouri where the Delta variant is also circulating,” said Dr. Dillaha.

It’s quickly becoming the most common forms of COVID-19 in our state. It’s also much more lethal. It causes more devastating consequences.”


Dr. Patterson said that age does not make you immune from COVID-19.

With the 4th of July holiday this weekend, Dr. Patterson wants to remind you that we saw cases nearly double after Memorial Day.

If we see that again, he says cases will start adding up to almost what they were in the height of this pandemic, so he reiterates the importance of getting vaccinated.