Arkansas Department of Health officials announced that the number of COVID-19 cases reported in Arkansas increased by 2,414 on Tuesday. It's the biggest one-day rise in new cases since Sept. 9.
Despite the elevated number, Fayetteville public health officer Marti Sharkey on Tuesday expressed concern on her Facebook page that the cases currently being reported are undercounted.
"The new variant is highly transmissible and widespread in our community," she said. "Since many people are either using home tests or not testing, case numbers are not reliable and artificially low."
Sharkey said she will be focusing her reporting on severe cases moving forward.
"In addition, since Omicron is causing less severe of illness in general, our focus right now should be on the number of severe cases and healthcare strain," she said.
Hospitalizations were up by 51, bringing the total number of patients hospitalized in the state to 570.
The Heath Department announced 16 new deaths, bringing the total number of deaths in the state as a result of the pandemic to 9.097.
There are currently 105 patients in the state on ventilators, down two from the day previous.
There are 9,097 cases of COVID-19 considered active in the state, which includes those that have tested positive by both PCR and antigen testing methods. The ADH dashboard is currently reporting 703 active cases of the virus in Washington County, and 780 in Benton County.
The new cases bring the total cumulative count in Arkansas to 553,808 since the pandemic began.
Top counties for new cases in the state Tuesday included Pulaski (417), Craighead (300), and Washington (144).
Arkansas is averaging 1,253 new cases per day, or 42 per 100,000 residents over the last two weeks. According to the New York Times COVID-19 tracker, cases in the state are up by 79 percent over the last 14 days.
The state announced that 9,081 additional doses of COVID-19 vaccine have been administered, bringing the total number of doses given by the state to 3,676,078. The state lists 350,604 as partially immunized, and 1,500,712 individuals as fully immunized.
All Arkansans ages 5 and older are currently eligible for a vaccine. Those who need assistance locating a vaccine can call 1-800-985-6030.