LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas on Monday will expand its distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine to teachers and people aged 70 or older.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is 70, is set to get his first dose of the vaccine Monday afternoon.
On Sunday, Arkansas reported 976 new confirmed and probable cases of the coronavirus, which Hutchinson said on Twitter is part of “an improved trend.”
Researchers at Johns Hopkins University said that over the past two weeks, the rolling average number of daily new cases in Arkansas has increased by 137, an increase of 5.5%.
The Arkansas Department of Health on Sunday reported 18 new deaths, bringing the state’s death toll to 4,311.
Health officials said 1,271 people were hospitalized with COVID-19 across the state.
The health department says there have been more than 271,000 confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases in the pandemic began. The actual number of cases is believed to be far higher because many people haven’t been tested and some who get sick don’t show symptoms.
For most people, the coronavirus causes mild or moderate symptoms that clear up within weeks. But for others, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, the virus can cause severe illness and be fatal.