Covid just gets worse
226 school districts have high rates of infection, Nominations for McDonald's basketball All-Americans named, Maumelle City Council to meet Tuesday, Help Wanted: Jobs are out there plus headlines
Note to subscribers: An annual or monthly subscription is billed to your debit or credit card as ARKANSAS.SUBSTACK.COM and if you have questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading and subscribing!
Covid just gets worse
The kids call it “doom scrolling.”
It is a way to describe the act of looking at your phone as you scroll through all the doom and gloom news these days.
The ongoing pandemic is exhausting. There’s so many other things that need to be written, or reported on, or just about anything else but doom scrolling is also another way of saying, this is what reporter types do for a living.
So if this comes across as glum, that’s right. Things are bad and getting explosively worse.
Arkansas added 10,974 Covid cases on Wednesday. The state now has 71,132 people who are sick with Covid. That means that about 2.5 percent of the entire state is sick and that nearly 50,000 cases have been added just this month. And, it is worth remembering, on Christmas, Arkansas had 9,942 Covid cases. So three weeks, more than 60,000 cases.
Arkansas has also literally broken the forecast chart from the CDC as it only projects to 800 new weekly deaths, and the top end numbers are above that and past the frame.
The death count in Arkansas is now at 9,372. More will be added daily, as numbers get updated.
And when people say it is “mild” they aren’t exactly lying but they aren’t exactly telling the truth either.
Mild – as defined by health care clinicians – means, you will have in some combination: “fever, fatigue, persistent cough, diarrhea, abdominal pain and loss of appetite.”
It will be, for some, the sickest they have ever felt in their life. That isn’t mild. That’s awful.
So what to do, besides doom scrolling all day?
Get vaccinated, if you haven’t
Get boosted, if you haven’t.
Wear a mask, if you aren’t
The tools are there. Just use them.
226 Arkansas school districts have high rates of Covid infections
In a Thursday afternoon press release, the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement released that a total of 226 Arkansas public school districts, or 97 percent of the state’s 234 contiguous school districts, have Covid-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over a 14-day period, as the ACHI cited its analysis of Arkansas Department of Health data current as of Monday.
The analysis adds only two days’ worth of new data since ACHI released a special report Monday, which was based on ADH data from Saturday. The total number of school districts with 14-day infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents is unchanged from the special report but is up 88 from last week’s total of 138, which was based on ADH data from Jan. 3.
Beginning with its special Monday report, ACHI added a new color, pink, to the maps on the dashboard, available at achi.net/covid19, to signify an infection rate of 200 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents over the past 14 days, or at least 2% of the district’s population. In some districts, nearly 5% of residents in the local community are known to be infected.
The previous record for school districts with 14-day Covid-19 infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 district residents was 201, which was reached last January and again in August.
Of the 226 districts with 14-day infection rates of 50 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents, 48 districts have 50 to 99 new known infections per 10,000 residents (red on ACHI’s map); 120 districts have 100 to 199 new known infections per 10,000 residents (purple); and 58 districts have 200 or more new known infections per 10,000 residents (pink).
The numbers of districts in purple and pink increased by 10 and three, respectively, since Monday’s special report.
Among the 58 districts in pink on ACHI’s map are
North Little Rock – at least 3.4% of local community infected
Pulaski County Special – at least 3.1% of local community infected
To read more, click 226 Arkansas school districts have high rates of Covid infections
Maumelle students named to Arkansas Tech fall 2021 Dean’s List
North Little Rock students named to Arkansas Tech fall 2021 Dean’s List
Maumelle's Daughtery, North Little Rock’s Smith, Ware and Williams nominated as McDonald's basketball All-Americans
Regional nominations for the prestigious McDonald's All-American basketball teams were announced and there's some familiar names on the lists.
Maumelle's Carl Daughtery Jr., who has signed with the University of Central Arkansas, was among the five Arkansans nominated from the Southeast Region.
Maumelle High School has never had a player participate in the McDonald's All-American game but neither has North Little Rock and there's a total of three players nominated for the boys and girls teams.
Nick Smith Jr., who has signed with Arkansas and is a contender for national player of the year, and Kel'el Ware, who has signed with Oregon, were both nominated for the boys team.
Amauri Williams, who has signed with Vanderbilt and is one of four seniors at North Little Rock who will play in college next season, was nominated for the girls team.
The last player from central Arkansas who played in the McDonald's All-American game was Archie Goodwin, who played at Sylvan Hills, and then Kentucky before going to the NBA.
John Hutchcraft, who is now retired from Guy-Perkins, was also a McDonald's All-American coach.
MAUMELLE CHARTER: As of now, Maumelle Charter has a trio of basketball doubleheaders scheduled this week with the boys and girls teams traveling to Conway St. Joseph, Magnet Cove and South Side Bee Branch, plus a boys-only game at Marshall as well. To read more click Maumelle Charter has busy week ahead
CAC: Central Arkansas Christian’s basketball teams are each 4-0 in 3A-6 play and will take winning streaks into Tuesday’s games with Palestine-Wheatley. This week’s games with Dollarway and DeWitt will be rescheduled because of covid issues within those programs. By Donna Lampkin Stephens and to read more click CAC teams undefeated, lead conference standings
Tracy Harris still needs our help: A GoFundMe has been started for Little Rock golfer Tracy Harris, who received a liver and kidney transplant at UAMS on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Harris's need for a transplant was detailed by Donna Lampkin Stephens last year and can be read by clicking Tracy Harris needs our help. As of Sunday, the GoFundMe drive had raised $24,153 to pay home health care for Harris. To donate, click here.
Moore on Maumelle: My Take
Neal Moore is taking the week off.
Arkansas Newsroom is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support our work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.
Help Wanted: Jobs are out there
With unemployment dropping to 3.9 percent nationally and Arkansas below that at 3.4 percent, there’s still plenty of opportunities available across the state.
One such place hiring is Methodist Family Health. With is main office in Little Rock, a healthcare facility in Maumelle and locations across the state, they have 11 sites currently looking for a total of 53 jobs.
The breakdown is:
Fayetteville – 5 positions
Bono – 7 positions
Little Rock – 21 positions
Jonesboro – 5 positions
Maumelle – 7 positions
Magnolia – 2 positions
Alma – 1 position
Hot Springs – 2 positions
Heber Springs – 1 position
Vilonia – 1 position
Helena-West Helena – 2 positions
The openings range from “entry-level to management,” said Kelli Reep, director of communications for the organization. “In Maumelle in particular, we need nurses, and we have available every shift for them to choose.”
Because of the wide range in jobs, salaries vary and are “based on experience for each particular position.”
Many of the jobs are “immediate openings,” Reep said and to learn more or apply, click here.
It was dubbed the “mass resignation” late last year when it was widely reported millions of Americans had quit their jobs and that was true but they didn’t leave the workforce as some assumed. They left their old jobs and got something they thought was better.
What it did was increase the pressure of businesses to find and attract talented employees.
“So many employers are looking for team members,” Reep said. “ I think every industry is struggling. There’s no doubt health care is a demanding field, but that’s part of what makes the professionals in this industry unique.”
Covid has also made hiring more difficult.
“The pandemic has made everything more challenging,” Reep said. “However, we have reviewed our hiring and onboarding processes to make bringing on new team members as smooth as possible.”
While the challenges are great, Reep said, it does come with some rewards.
“Working with children and their families who have been abandoned, abused and neglected takes someone who has heart and grit for the position,” she said. “The satisfaction of seeing a child stabilize and return to the community is a benefit other employers can’t provide. We have children and their families who seek out our team members before they leave our locations because they want to hug them and thank them for believing in them. That’s why we do what we do, and we are looking for people who want the same thing.”