As our state deals with the spread of covid-19 in the midst of a global outbreak, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will publish five things you need to know each week. Coronavirus coverage pertaining to crucial public health information will be available for all readers.
Here are this week’s five important things to know about the coronavirus.
• Arkansas has recorded 318,122 confirmed and probable cases of covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data available Feb. 26. State health officials have reported 5,397 covid-19 deaths and 307,978 recoveries. Officials also reported that Arkansas has given 578,519 doses of the covid-19 vaccine.
• The number of active cases in the state dropped to 6,478 on Feb. 18, the lowest number in five months. Active cases continued to drop throughout the week.
• Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Feb. 23 extended eligibility for the coronavirus vaccines to Arkansans aged 65-69, a group that he previously said wouldn't have access to the shots for another month. The expansion makes about 115,000 more Arkansans eligible.
• Hutchinson said Feb. 26 that he has extended the state’s public health emergency declaration, which was set to expire Feb. 27.
• Officials could learn as early as Feb. 28 how many doses Arkansas will get of the vaccine developed by Johnson & Johnson, if the vaccine is issued an emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, state epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said Feb. 24.