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  • Sara Doan, Northeast Arkansas News

State seeing effects in COVID cases from Labor Day, school starting

JONESBORO, Ark- Leading up to the Labor Day holiday, Gov. Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero warned people of the possible increase in cases credited to the holiday.

While we are seeing a daily rise in cases, one physician says it might not all be credited to Labor Day.

“It may still be a little early to see the full impact of Labor Day weekend,” says St. Bernards Vice President of Medical Affairs, Dr. Kasey Holder. “I would say probably a good portion of that is more so related to schools resuming, which was about a week later or even longer than that. It normally takes two to four weeks to see the full impact of a change.”

Dr. Holder says the best way measure out the impact from the coronavirus in the state is to look at the month’s average instead.

She says there are days when cases will be high and low.

With school resuming and the holiday weekend, she wouldn’t be surprised to see a more daily case increases.

With Arkansas being added to the White House Corona Task Force list of states with rising cases, dr. Holder says that’s a reminder to continue to take precautions.

“We really do need to keep taking this seriously and do all the things we know we should do,” says Dr. Holder. “So, the masking, the distancing, not going out when you’re sick. It’s really important to keep doing those things.”

Arkansas also marked another milestone this week, over 1,000 deaths in the state credited to COVID-19.

With over 70% of our COVID related deaths in the state being ages 65 years and older.

Dr. Holder says that death toll is another grim reminder to us all, to not only protect ourselves but those around us.

“The things they need to do to protect themselves, avoiding large groups, and really avoiding going out unfortunately as much as they can,” says Dr. Holder. “But it’s really important for those too who aren’t in that age group, the younger age group… to recognize the impact we have on protecting those individuals as well. When you’re visiting a relative who is 65 years or older it’s important to be diligent about mask-wearing and hand hygiene.”

Dr. Holder says a large percentage of new cases being in young adults, she hoping that’ll make our deaths decline.

She also says our monthly case average has decreased from July to September.

For July, Arkansas averaged 700 new cases and, since early August, we are averaging 600.

Dr. Holder says while it’s not where we want to be it is a start.


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