According to the Arkansas Department of Health, in Independence County there have been 75 confirmed deaths linked to COVID-19 and 25 probable deaths linked to the virus. As of Tuesday, there are 292 active cases reported in the county. Independence County’s infection rate per 1,000 is currently 7.72, which is a steady increase over the last seven days, which began at 7.11 infections per 1,000.

The state will also be working with military “strike teams” to coordinate mass vaccination clinics for schools, businesses, and communities.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced beginning Monday, Jan. 18, seniors 70 and older, daycare workers, and educators can now proceed to get the COVID-19 vaccine. As of Tuesday, the state had received 227,500 doses and had distributed 89,449. Hutchinson said the state is on track to vaccinate everyone in the 1A group by the end of the month. That group includes healthcare workers, residents and staff of long-term care facilities, and first responders, along with other high-priority groups. Beginning Monday, Jan. 18, seniors 70 and older and K-12 and higher education employees and staff, along with daycare workers, can proceed to get the vaccine. There have been 212 pharmacies statewide involved in the 1A phase of vaccinating long-term care facilities and healthcare workers.

“We have to manage the process in a way that gets the vaccine out as quickly as possible, but in a way that gives priority to those who need it the most,” Hutchinson said.

Forty more Arkanasans died in the past 24-hours due to COVID-19, bringing the total to 4,121 since the pandemic began. There are 25,702 active cases in the state. National resources continue to predict infection rates rising in the early months of 2021.

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