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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

Officials worry about a possible surge in COVID cases on A-State campus with Labor Day weekend

JONESBORO, Ark- Governor Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero are pleading to college aged adults to follow guidelines with the three-day weekend on our horizon.

This comes cases among college students are skyrocketing.

“The potential is there for there to be a small outbreak,” says St Bernard’s doctor Dr. Mark Wiggins. “As long as we are not seeing a rise in critically ill patients. I don’t want people to lose hope, numbers are going to go up.”

Across the country cases along college students are on the rise, causing some universities to transition online.

The University of Arkansas currently has over 400 active cases, with A-State having over 40.

Gov. Hutchinson says a large number of the new cases in Arkansas come from the 18-24 age group.

Dr. Romero spoke about the possible spike due to the holiday weekend during yesterday’s daily COVID briefing, saying students are driving the case numbers up.

“So, I cannot stress enough the importance of this because this will increase significantly more if it’s not brought under control now,” says Dr. Romero.

The fear of a rise comes as an increase in cases after Memorial Day and the Fourth of July.

Chief Communication Officer for A-State, Bill Smith, says they are reminding not only students, but faculty and staff to take precautions.

But, specifically during the three-day weekend to help prevent more cases on campus.

“We’re really hopeful that students will be careful out there, do their best, wear their mask and of course be physical distance,” says Smith. “But we have to be ready for a spread to happen after any event or any weekend. So, we really want to instruct our students, help our students, educate our students, faculty, and staff. We’ve had spread in our county, and it’s not just our students.”

The fear moving into the holiday weekend, comes as Gov. Hutchinson announce the highest number of new COVID cases in 24 hours, at 1,094.

Gov. Hutchinson says it should come as a warning and reminder for Labor Day weekend


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