By Ray King

Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday said more than 4,100 new cases of COVID-19 were reported in the past 24 hours, bringing the state’s total to more than 236,000 since the first case of COVID-19 was diagnosed in March. Of those, 24,408 are considered active cases.

At his weekly COVID-19 press briefing, the Governor said there are currently 1,322 people hospitalized, an increase of 27 and there have been an additional 36 deaths, bringing the statewide total to more than 3,800.

State Department of Correction Director Solomon Graves said there are currently 286 active cases of COVID-19 involving inmates in prison facilities and 153 staff members have tested positive for the virus. He said the department has received 975 doses of vaccine so far and efforts are underway to vaccinate medical staff and security personnel who are assigned to medical facilities.

The Governor also announced that plans for vaccinations, first of health care workers and patients and workers in long-term care facilities and then others have been developed by the Department of Health who is working with the Department of Emergency Management and pharmacies through the state.

By the end of January, the state hopes to have completed vaccination of those individuals by so they can move on to other categories.

The plans will be posted on state websites Jan. 15 with a vaccination initiative starting Feb. 1.