NWA schools wrap up first week of school; ADH shows case count for first week back

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FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – As of Thursday, August 19, there are nearly 1,800 active cases in Arkansas public school districts.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health school COVID-19 case report, Bentonville and Fort Smith lead the state with the most active cases, with 84 in Bentonville and 63 in Fort Smith.

The dashboard shows Fayetteville Schools ranks 11th in the state for positive cases.

COVID-19 dashboard for Arkansas schools from Arkansas Department of Health

According to the Fayetteville Public School District COVID-19 dashboard, there are 123 positive cases among staff and students as of Friday, August 20. 212 are in quarantine.

According to Fayetteville’s Director of Health Services, Melissa Thomas, this could be hard to control.

“So far, what we’re seeing is a majority of quarantine cases are not identified through school contact,” Thomas said. “It’s family exposure, it’s other activity exposure.”

Governor Asa Hutchinson said the worst could be yet to come.

“I think this is just the natural flow of, we’re still in our first week of school,” the governor said. “We haven’t gotten into a spike yet because it usually takes a little bit longer than that.”

Thomas said she fears the effect cases inside schools will have on those outside.

“When I look at our partnering hospital systems that are in such dire condition because of the Covid cases, yes, it makes me extremely concerned.”

Thomas said another concern now is contact tracing. She said school nurses are helping state contact tracers reach out to staff and students who test positive. She encourages you, if this is you, to be sure and answer those calls and comply with the contact tracers so the district can get to the bottom of any spread.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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