While the COVID pandemic hasn’t been declared over — and the state is actually seeing the biggest rise in new cases in three months — Ashley County’s active case count has remained in single digits in recent weeks.

As of Monday, the Arkansas Department of Health reported five recorded active cases of COVID-19 in the county. In neighboring counties, Chicot County reported three, while Bradley and Union counties were still in the double digits with 25 and 28 cases respectively.

Thirty-five Ashley County deaths have been officially linked with the virus since the pandemic began in March 2020, while 41 Chicot residents also died. A total of 5,861 Arkansans have died of the virus.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson noted Sunday, June 13, that the state reported 91 new cases and nine new hospitalizations that day. 

“If we increase the number vaccinated, we can reduce these numbers. Today we’ll have over 11,000 Arkansans rooting for the Razorback baseball team at Baum-Walker stadium,” he said. 

“Statistically, thousands of these will not have been vaccinated. We can safely have thousands attend sporting events, but we need to increase our percent vaccinated. There are plenty of doses available.”

Statewide, 39.79 percent of the population 12 and older is considered fully vaccinated, while another 9.7 percent is partially immunized, meaning they have received the first shot of a two-shot vaccine schedule.

In Ashley County, 33.45 percent of the population is fully immunized and 4.73 percent of the population 12 and older is partially immunized. 

Breaking the county’s population down by demographics, the percentage of each population vaccinated by race includes, American Indian/Alaskan, 3.70 percent; Black, 35.10 percent; Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander, 22.60 percent; and White, 29.70 percent. 

To read the state’s vaccination plan, go to bit.ly/3cE2nEO.

Since May 26, the state has offered an incentive package to those who get vaccinated. Those getting vaccinated have the choice of a $20 Arkansas Scholarship Lottery scratch-off ticket or two $10.50 gift certificates from the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, which can be redeemed for the Resident Wildlife Conservation License or Resident Fisheries Conservation License. The state purchased 50,000 scratch-off tickets and 50,000 gift certificates. The incentives can be claimed by taking a proof of vaccination card to any Arkansas Department of Health Local Health Unit.