Daily US Times: Local officials in the US are sounding the alarm over an increase in coronavirus infections just as the nation prepares to celebrate a Fourth of July holiday that many hoped would mark the start of the resumption of normal life.
In the US state of Arkansas, which has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country, cases are surging, officials said. In Los Angeles County, where the vaccination rate is slightly above the national average, local officials warned about a possible new wave of coronavirus infections, especially given the rapid spread of the Delta variant.
Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, during the state’s weekly briefing Tuesday: “We are now going in the wrong direction yet again with Covid-19 infections here in the state of Arkansas. With July 4th holiday coming up and eventually kids going back to school, we have to be concerned that this would be a trend that could continue. And if it does, it would appear that we may be in the beginning of the third surge of Covid-19 here in the state of Arkansas.
More than 90% of active Covid-19 cases are people who have not been vaccinated, Governor Asa Hutchinson said during the briefing.
The state saw 988 Covid related deaths since late January, and 99.6% of those deaths were people who were not vaccinated, Hutchinson added. In the same time period, more than 98% of those hospitalized with coronavirus infections were not vaccinated.
Federal data shows that Arkansas has fully vaccinated 34.3% of its total population.