Arkansas is in a “fast-moving Covid-19 surge,” with a vaccination rate among the lowest in the country and a test positivity rate five times the national average, according to UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson.

“The Delta variant is more virulent than the previous strain and is spreading quickly,” he said. “Vaccination is our best defense against this virus but unfortunately Arkansas’ rate of vaccination is one of the lowest in the country.”

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health this week updated its Covid-19 forecast, projecting an average daily increase of more than 1,000 cases per day by July 26.

Increases in new cases are projected for all age groups, the greatest in the 35 to 59 age group. The group with the second highest growth will be young adults, age 18 to 34. The model also forecasts an increase of more than 2,500 cases in children under 17, or a daily average of 169 cases by July 26, according to the report.

The greatest number of hospitalizations due to Covid-19 will continue to be in the 60 to 74 age group. However, adults 35 to 59 are likely to be the largest group hospitalized in the very near future. This is consistent with the expectation that the Delta variant is having a greater impact on younger adults, according to the report.

“This virus is spreading quickly,” Patterson said. “It is a runaway train and the only way to slow it down is for more Arkansans to get vaccinated.”

You can read the full report HERE

VIDEO: UAMS Chancellor Cam Patterson and College of Public Health Dean Mark Williams give an update on the latest COVID-19 forecasts for Arkansas.