By Katie Beth Nichols
All 75 counties in the state of Arkansas have a high level of community transmissibility of COVID-19, according to U.S. Centers for Disease Control data from July 27.
The CDC data describes community transmissibility through four categories: low, moderate, substantial and high. High transmissibility is indicated if the county’s total new cases per 100,000 persons in the past 7 days exceeds 100 new cases.
Nationwide, there are 1,495 counties, or 46%, with a high transmissibility rate, according to the CDC. There are 548 counties nationwide in the “substantial” category.
Arkansas is joined by Florida as the other state with every county in the high transmissibility label, as of Tuesday evening. Louisiana, Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi also have “high” transmission in the majority of counties.
In response to the rapid spread of the delta variant, low vaccination rates and high transmissibility nationwide, the CDC has updated their mask guidance to recommend that even fully vaccinated persons in counties with “high” and “substantial” transmissibility should wear masks indoors. The CDC also updated their recommendations to include that all students, staff and visitors of K-12 schools should wear masks in school buildings, regardless of vaccination status.
The CDC continues to recommend that unvaccinated persons should continue to wear a mask until they are fully vaccinated. According to July 27 CDC data, 35.7% of Arkansas residents are fully vaccinated.