SPRINGDALE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – New UAMS COVID-19 projections forecast almost 11,000 cases in kids in Arkansas in the second half of this month.
UAMS Dean Mark Williams said this is incredibly concerning for those 12 and under who are not eligible for vaccines.
“We’ve brought them together into congregate setting- that is schools,” Williams said.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health, four out of the five school districts with the highest COVID-19 case counts are in northwest Arkansas. Springdale Public Schools ranks fifth with 59 cases.
“All of us have a real responsibility to commit ourselves to safety protocols and to the layers of protection out there,” said Trent Jones with Springdale Public Schools.
Jones said the district is doing all it can to keep students safe by implementing mask policies for students K-7 and stressing social distancing and proper sanitation.
“As you know, there’s not one way to attack this global pandemic,” he said. “There’s multiple ways and we are trying to make sure everyone has as many options as front of them as possible.”
Williams said the trends among kids old enough to get the vaccine are cause for concern.
In a sense, we are looking at a real possibility that there could be high numbers of infections among children. Simply because of low rates of vaccination and because they’re congregating together.”MARK WILLIAMS, DEAN, UAMS COLLEGE OF PUBLIC HEALTH
The UAMS COVID-19 projection also outlined other key points for Arkansans to expect through August 30. A few include:
- The 15-day model is forecasting 4,523 new COVID-19 cases on Sept. 14. This represents almost a doubling of new daily cases in the next month.
- Arkansans between ages 35 and 59 will have the highest number of COVID-19 diagnoses — forecast to increase by 19,610 cases, an average of 1,040 cases per day.
- The highest relative growth in cases will be in children 17 and under. The state will see an
- additional 10,784 children with COVID-19 by Aug. 30, an increase of 17% over the number
- reported on Aug. 15.
- The 30-day model is forecasting 131 new hospitalizations in Arkansas on Sept. 14
- due to COVID-19. This represent an increase of a third in daily hospitalization in the next
- The greatest number of patients hospitalized will be adults 35 to 59, increasing by 10% over
- the number on Aug. 15.
- The greatest relative increase in hospitalizations will be in children 17 and under, increasing
- by 120 hospitalizations or 20%.
- The 30-day model is forecasting 38 new deaths due to COVID-19 on Sept. 14. This
- represents just under a doubling of daily deaths over the number on Aug. 16.
- The 15-day model forecasts 7,017 cumulative COVID-19 deaths by Aug. 30, adding an
- additional 457 deaths. We should expect an average of 30 additional deaths per day.
- All counties in Arkansas continue to show low COVID-19 vaccination rates. The greatest increase in vaccinations in the state was 11% in Sebastian County. However, most counties increased vaccinations by 2% to 5%.