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Covid-19 cases rise at Arkansas school districts

1st infection increase since March 4 by Jaime Adame | April 3, 2021 at 9:08 a.m.
A classroom is shown in this 2015 file photo.

A rising number of covid-19 infections in schools shows an uptick in cases at larger school districts, but fewer districts have five or more active infections, according to a state Department of Health report dated Thursday.

Public school district cases increased to 153, according to the report, an increase from the 148 active cases listed in a Health Department report Monday. The Health Department releases reports on covid-19 in schools twice a week.

The rise follows last week's spring break and remains well below school case totals seen a month ago. But it is the first rise in active school infections since March 4, when the Health Department tallied 461 active infections in public school districts.

The report dated Thursday listed seven school districts with five or more active infections, topped by the Bentonville School District with 14 cases. The Rogers School District and the Springdale School District each were listed with 11 active cases, followed by the Little Rock School District with 10 active infections.

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Monday's report listed nine school districts having five or more active infections, with two districts having 10 or more cases.

Active infections on college campuses increased to 57 from the 43 cases listed in Monday's report. It was the first increase in college cases since March 1, when the Health Department reported 179 active infections at colleges in the state.

Based on Thursday's report, the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville topped all colleges with 10 active infections.

Vaccination efforts continue on college campuses.

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock plans to hold its first student vaccination clinic on Monday, with another scheduled for April 14.

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Harding University held a vaccine clinic on Thursday and Friday, spokeswoman Katie Clement said. The private Christian university in Searcy is the state's largest private university. It will continue with its on-campus mask mandate, Clement said in an email.

"While Governor Hutchinson has lifted the mask mandate for the state, he continues to encourage the use of masks by Arkansans. The University will continue to require masks in classes, chapel and indoor common areas," Clement said Friday.

Many, but not all, colleges and universities have stated plans to continue with on-campus face covering requirements.

National Park College, a public two-year college in Hot Springs , dropped its face coverings requirement on Thursday, according to the college's website. The college stated on its website that face coverings remain recommended.


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