Governor Hutchinson 12/15/2020 COVID Press Conference
>>We have received the first round of vaccines. Priorities lie in health care workers, emergency responders, staff and residents of long-term care facilities. The we will move to additional priorities and then the general public.
>> We will get an update from Pfizer every Friday about the next week’s shipment of vaccines.
>> This is a massive distribution effort with a lot of logistics. Please be patient.
>> NEA Baptist in Jonesboro has received their first batch of vaccines.
>> Last 24 hours: 2141 COVID cases (1236 confirmed, 905 probable). 905 is the largest number of antigen tests to date.
>> Over 12,000 tests were completed in the last 24 hours
>> Hospitalizations up by 20 to 1,050 COVID admissions.
>> Over 10% positivity rate
>> 177,862 PCR tests so far in December
>> 36,460 antigen tests so far in December
>> Northwest Arkansas still has the highest number of new cases in the state.
>> The highest growing growth rate is the 0-17 age group. Every age group can carry the virus.
>> 0-17 age group= 9.1% growth rate, 18-24 age group=6.7% growth rate, 25-44 age group= 8.3% growth rate, 45-64 age group= 8.2% growth rate, 65+ age group= 8.4% growth rate
>> Daily average of COVID death by month March= 1.4, April 2.3, May 2.6, June 6.5, July 10.4, August 14.4, September 14.3, October 18.0, November 22.1
>> About vaccines- in addition to Pfizer vaccine, we will most likely have another vaccine from Moderna. In the same class as the Pfizer vaccine. FDA reviewing safety and efficacy. It will have a different age range (18 years and older).
>> Safety has not been compromised for the vaccines. In all 3 phases of the development, safety has been paramount.
>> We continue to expand antigen testing. One place we are expanding is in correctional facilities to stop the spread in a congregate setting. Department of Corrections has done over 44,000 rapid tests.
>> Education update: last week 35 schools made some type of modifications to on site learning. This week we have had 30, but 25 of those modifications are due to weather.
>> Arkansas Transfer System for COVID patients- matches the patient with the needed level of care and facility able to provide that care.