In the last two weeks, north central Arkansas counties have shown an increase in active COVID-19 cases. Independence County is currently standing at 51 active cases out of 125 confirmed positive cases since the start of the pandemic.
That is the most of any county in the region.
White County, the most populous county in north central Arkansas, reports 37 active cases out of a total of 177, Cleburne County reports 25 active cases, Lawrence has 35 active cases, and Randolph County reports 34 cases that are active.
One of our neighboring counties, Stone, reports 37 total positive cases with 15 of those being active. There have been 21 in the county recover from the virus, and one death reported.
As of Wednesday, there have been no reported deaths related to the coronavirus in Independence County.
Commenting to White River Now’s Gary Bridgman on Wednesday morning, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin said with school starting in a month and having an increase — however small it is — one has to be concerned.
It is estimated by the Centers for Disease Control that each active case infects, on average, 2.5 additional people, Griffin said.
Yet, the judge also noted other factors look good, saying over 10 percent of the county’s population has been tested. He also noted that the percent of active cases per 1,000 — 1.36 percent — is well below the state average of 2.33 percent. Griffin said the state positivity rate is 7.9 percent, while Independence County’s rate is 3.3 percent. He said the goal is less than 5 percent, so the county is doing well in all those categories.
“No one should hide in fear, but we must work together to keep low numbers for the sake of children and staff,” Griffin said. “Wearing a mask is a small inconvenience to save even one life. You continue to see high profile sports leagues respect the dangers enough to forego the massive streams of revenue from having seats filled. If this virus was not a danger, they would not give up many billions of dollars in revenue because of it.”
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