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Winter storm in Arkansas helped decrease COVID cases

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Little Rock, Arkansas – According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the recent ice storm that hit the majority of Central Arkansas has snapped the surge in COVID-19 cases.

In the last month, they’ve seen record-breaking COVID case numbers due to the omicron variant, but the weather may have slowed down the spread of the virus, according to Dr. Jennifer Dillaha with ADH.

“The fact that people have been at home, not out in public, not being further exposed to the virus,” Dillaha said.

The positivity rate for PCR and antigen tests are more than 24 percent compared to nearly 35 percent two weeks ago, officials with the ADH said as of Friday.

An at-home COVID test could help keep Arkansans informed of their health status before they head back to work from staying in due to the storm. She said while they’re not asking and it’s not required it can be reported through their hotline, according to Dillaha.

“It’s likely that if they don’t have symptoms that it will be helpful information for them, especially if they repeat the test in a day or two. two negative tests would be more trustworthy than just a single negative test,” Dillaha said.

CHI St. Vincent and UAMS drive-thru testing site in Little Rock has been closed since Wednesday.

According to officials with Baptist Health, they were open on Thursday and Friday and tested 137 people total from both days.

They hope the current trend of COVID cases and flu cases continues to decline because of the threat of a potential new variant in the future, Dillaha said.

“We feel certain that another variant will be arriving at some point in Arkansas,” she said.

According to officials with the department of health, if anyone wants to report the results of their at-home COVID test, they can call their hotline number at 1-800-803-7847.

 

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