JONESBORO — The numbers are still small compared to January, but Craighead County had more new coronavirus cases last week than any other county, a Sun review of daily reports from the Arkansas Department of Health found. The 314 new cases between March 14 and Sunday represents an increase of 46.7 percent compared to the previous seven-day period.
Benton County in northwest Arkansas had the second-highest total of new cases with 268, followed by Pulaski County in central Arkansas with 229.
Clay, Jackson, Lawrence and Poinsett counties also recorded small increases in cases compared to the previous week. Statewide, Arkansas recorded 3,397 new cases in the past seven days, with 150 deaths. Among those deaths were four Mississippi County residents, two each from Greene and Jackson counties and one each in Cross, Lawrence and Randolph counties.
Hospitalizations continued to decline, both statewide and locally. Over the past week, statewide COVID-related hospitalizations dropped from 216 to 186. At Northeast Arkansas hospitals, the numbers dropped from 25 to 18.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention last week introduced a new tool to inform residents of their community risk level. Levels can be low, medium or high and are determined by looking at hospital beds being used, hospital admissions and the total number of new COVID-19 cases in an area. On Monday, the CDC classified Mississippi County a medium risk, while neighboring counties, including Craighead and Greene were rated as low risk.
Northeast Arkansas COVID-19 cases by county, March 7 through Sunday:
Craighead – 319 new cases, (increase of 105 from last week); 47 additional active cases (down from 60); 323 total virus related deaths (unchanged).
Greene – 52 new cases (decrease of 16); 21 active (down from 322); 170 deaths (increase of 2).
Lawrence – 45 new cases (increase of 8); 2 additional active (down from 5); 7 deaths (increase of 2).
Poinsett – 69 new cases (increase of 26); 22 additional active (decrease of 1); 126 deaths (increase of 1).
Mississippi – 121 new cases (increase of 15); 13 additional active cases (down from 15); 206 deaths (increase of 4).
Jackson – 36 new cases (increase of 3); 15 additional active cases (unchanged); 60 deaths (increase of 2).
Randolph – 77 new cases (decrease of 17); 12 additional active cases (increase of 2); 82 deaths (increase of 1).
Cross –13 new cases (down from 26); 4 additional active cases (down from 7); 80 deaths (increase of 1).
Clay – 16 new cases (increase of 4); 8 additional active cases (unchanged); 90 deaths (unchanged).
As the new week began, the health department reported 781 new cases Monday, including 20 in Craighead County. Washington County recorded 344 new cases on Monday.
The statewide death toll rose by 11,114, including one resident of Randolph County.