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Covid-19 cases continue to spike in Northwest Arkansas

by Alex Golden | June 20, 2020 at 7:01 a.m.
FILE -- Nurse Caitlin Percival bags a covid-19 test, Friday, April 24, 2020 at a drive-thru testing site at the Mercy Convenient Care in Bentonville. (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Charlie Kaijo)

FAYETTEVILLE -- Benton and Washington counties have seen about 1,150 new covid-19 cases within the past week, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

At least 20 Benton County residents and 22 Washington County residents have died of the virus, according to the county coroners.

Seven Benton County residents have died since Monday, according to Coroner Daniel Oxford. Two Carroll County residents, including an 80-year-old Berryville man and a 62-year-old Berryville woman, also died in Benton County this week.

A 75-year-old Springdale woman died Tuesday, according to Oxford. Four people died Wednesday, including a 79-year-old Bentonville man, a 79-year-old Rogers man, a 60-year-old Rogers man and 72-year-old Rogers man. A 32-year-old Rogers man and an 85-year-old Rogers man died Thursday.

Washington County Coroner Roger Morris didn't respond to messages Friday. Morris said Monday that 15 Washington County residents and three Oklahoma residents had died of covid-19 in Washington County. Seven Washington County residents and three Carroll County residents have died in Benton County, according to Oxford.

A total of 7,823 tests, including 5,840 in Benton County and 1,983 in Washington County, were done in the past week, according to the Health Department.

Washington County has a positive rate of 19%, according to the department. Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, state health secretary, have said they want to see positive rates of less than 10%. Benton County has a positive rate of 7%.

Hutchinson said Friday during his daily news briefing that of the 703 new cases within one day, Washington County had the most cases with 136. Benton County had the second-highest with 112 new cases.

Dr. Keyur Vyas, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, said it's hard to determine why Northwest Arkansas is experiencing such a spike and why it's happening now. He said the virus has spread within the poultry plants in the region.

Specimens to be tested are collected via nasal and mouth swabs. Testing is done at various commercial labs and the Health Department.

The Health Department began testing at county health units, including Fayetteville and Rogers, across the state May 18. The Fayetteville unit tested 713 people, and the Rogers unit 525 people as of Thursday, according to Danyelle McNeill, Health Department spokeswoman. The Fayetteville unit has also done 1,499 tests at offsite testing events, she said.

Washington Regional Health System has collected specimens to be tested from 6,213 people, including 1,639 in the past week, from March 16 through Thursday at its screening clinics and Fayetteville hospital, according to Natalie Hardin, spokeswoman. Patients are encouraged, but not required, to call before going to the clinics.

Mercy Health System has collected specimens from 5,529 people, including 800 in the past week, from March 20 through Thursday, according to Jennifer Cook, spokeswoman. People who suspect they have covid-19 must call Mercy's call center and be screened and make an appointment before going to Mercy's evaluation site in Bentonville.

Community Clinic, which has four coronavirus screening sites in Northwest Arkansas, has collected specimens from 9,008 people, including 2,832 people in the past week, from March 30 through Thursday, according to Judd Semingson, chief executive officer for Community Clinic. Patients are encouraged, but not required, to call before coming to a clinic.

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Coronavirus screening sites

Washington County Health Unit: 3270 Wimberly Drive in Fayetteville. Patients should call (479) 521-8181 to make an appointment.

Benton County Health Unit: 1200 W. Walnut St. Suite 2200 in Rogers. Patients should call (479) 986-1300 to make an appointment.

Walmart/Quest testing site: 7-9 a.m. Thursdays and Fridays at Walmart Neighborhood Market, 1400 N. Walton Blvd. in Bentonville. Patients must schedule an appointment through Quest Diagnostic’s online portal, or MyQuest app.

UAMS digital screening:

UAMS hotline: (800) 632-4502

Washington Regional hotline: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 8 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, (479) 463-2055

Washington Regional Coronavirus Screening Center: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Washington Regional Urgent Care, 3 E. Appleby Road.

Washington Regional Family Clinic drive-through screening clinic: 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday, 146 Passion Play Road, Suite A in Eureka Springs

Arkansas Children’s Hospital hotline for child health: (800) 743-3616

Community Clinic Siloam Springs Medical: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 500 S. Mount Olive St., No. 200 in Siloam Springs

Community Clinic Rogers Medical: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 1233 W. Poplar St. in Rogers

Community Clinic Fayetteville Medical: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 162 W. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., Suite 13-14 in Fayetteville

Community Clinic Springdale Medical and Pediatrics: 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 614 E. Emma Ave., Suite 300 in Springdale

Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas Family Medicine South: 7 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday, 2523 E. Huntsville Road in Fayetteville

Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas online screening:

Medical Associates of Northwest Arkansas fever hotline: (479) 435-2500

MedExpress Urgent Care: 8 a.m.-8 p.m., 1160 S. 40th St. in Springdale. Patients must call (479) 750-2971 to make an appointment.

Northwest Medical Center: 601 S.W. Regional Airport Blvd. in Bentonville. Patients may call (479) 306-7507.

Northwest Medical Center: 2158 Butterfield Coach Road, Suite 100 in Springdale. Patients may call (479) 306-7507.

Mercy Coronavirus Evaluation Site: Mercy Convenient Care, 3101 S.E. 14th St. in Bentonville. Patients must call (479) 717-7585 beforehand to make an appointment to be screened.

Veterans enrolled in Veterans Affairs health care may call (800) 691-8387.


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