Arkansas records COVID-19 surge following Thanksgiving

By Katy Seiter


Since Thanksgiving, all counties in Arkansas saw COVID-19 cases increase by 40 percent or higher, according to an analysis of Arkansas Department of Health data, vivid evidence of how the holiday season helped promote a surge in the pandemic.

The biggest increase was in the Delta, where Lincoln County, population 13,695, had an 85 percent increase in COVID-19 on a per capita cases between Nov. 26 and Jan. 7.

Arkansas’ border counties recorded big spikes in the virus. Chicot County, located along the Arkansas-Mississippi border with a population of 10,826, saw an 81 percent increase in per capita cases.

On the other side of the state, Sevier County, located near the southern end of the Arkansas-Oklahoma border, recorded the third highest rate, a 79 percent increase in COVID-19 per capita cases since Thanksgiving.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson has attributed the surge to Thanksgiving and encouraged those traveling for Christmas to get rapid COVID-19 tests and minimize social gatherings.

Statewide, Arkansas recorded a 51% increase in COVID-19 related deaths in December. On New Year’s Day, the state Health Department reported a new daily high of 4,304 cases statewide, indicating the holiday COVID-19 surge is merely beginning.

Katy Seiter

Katy Seiter is graduate student in the School of Journalism and Strategic media and an intern with


The University of Arkansas School of Journalism and Strategic Media operates this site as an independent source of news and as a community service for Arkansas residents. Students produce the content here under the supervision of Rob Wells, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Journalism. The data presented here is collected at roughly the same time each day from the Arkansas Department of Health website.

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