ARKANSAS (KNWA/KFTA) — The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) released a COVID-19 forecast looking at the impact the pandemic may have in Arkansas in the next few weeks.

Currently, the state has more than a 20% positivity rate,— five times the national average, according to state data.

All counties in Arkansas are experiencing low COVID-19 vaccination rates. In the last month. “No county has exceeded a 5% increase in the number of persons over 12 who are vaccinated,” the report states.

This monthly report is focused on five types of assessments.

  • a look at the pandemic in Arkansas from a longer-term perspective
  • forecasts and projections of cases and maps of community spread
  • forecast models of hospitalizations and patients needing intensive care
  • forecast model of COVID-19 deaths
  • status of COVID-19 vaccination.

According to the report, Arkansas is experiencing a strong and rapid surge in COVID-19 cases. In the video, Dean of the UAMS Fay. W. Boozman College of Public Health, Dr. Mark Williams, said hospitalizations are on the rise.

“The model forecasts 564 individuals will be newly hospitalized for COVID-19 between July 11 and July 26, an increase of 2% over the previous two weeks,” Williams said.

Younger people are also being hospitalized more now than in any other time during the pandemic.

“At UAMS we’re seeing younger Coronavirus patients with an average age of 40,” Patterson said. “Most are unvaccinated individuals who are healthy, prior to their admission to the hospital.”

Patterson and Williams both emphasized that it’s not too late to help stop the spread. They both encourage everyone to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson and College of Public Health Dean Mark Williams have the latest on Arkansas’ COVID-19 forecast in the below YouTube video. The information used by UAMS was from the Arkansas Department of Health’s data through July 11, 2021.

Meanwhile, Governor Asa Hutchinson continues his series of Community COVID Conversations beginning next week.

“The testimony from local health care professionals, community leaders, and former COVID patients has been beneficial in combatting misinformation,” he said.

Monday, July 26, 2021
11:30 a.m. – Mountain Home
Tuesday, July 27, 2021
11 a.m. – Dumas
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
6 p.m. – Heber Springs
Friday, July 30, 2021
11 a.m. – Siloam Springs