Arkansas and Missouri have both reported a third straight day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases, with the surge being blamed in part on the delta strain and lagging vaccination rates.
Republican Gov. Asa Hutchison posted the numbers on his Twitter page, showing that the state’s Department of Health reported more than 1,155 new coronavirus cases on Friday.
Missouri, meanwhile, also recorded over 1,000 new coronavirus infections for the third day in a row, reports The Hill.
The numbers were up slightly from Wednesday when 1,000 new cases were reported, but fewer than on Thursday, when 1,210 new cases were reported.
Hutchison has started town halls aimed at increasing vaccinations and last month implored state residents to get their shots.
“The overwhelming majority of COVID patients in the hospital have not been vaccinated,” he said. “These vaccines are effective, but we need more Arkansans to get the shot.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, just under 35% of Arkansas’ population has been fully vaccinated. The state has reported 355,460 coronavirus infections since the pandemic’s beginning, on Friday reported four new deaths from the disease, bringing the overall death toll to 5,948.
Meanwhile, in Missouri, more than half of the state’s residents have not gotten their COVID vaccines, and the state trails only neighboring Arkansas in the number of people becoming ill with the renewed spread of the disease also being blamed on the delta variant, reports The Hill.
As of Friday, the Missouri Health Department has recorded a total of 533,670 coronavirus cases, an increase of 1,544 cases from Thursday, marking the third day with more than 1,000 new infections.
State data shows that 45.1% of the population has gotten at least one shot, with 39.6% being fully immunized.
Missouri’s Republican Gov. Mike Parson, like many other GOP governors, has pushed back on President Joe Biden’s call for a door-to-door vaccination strategy and suggested his state’s residents don’t want federal officials visiting them.
“I have directed our health department to let the federal government know that sending government employees or agents door-to-door to compel vaccination would NOT be an effective OR a welcome strategy in Missouri,” Parson said on Twitter.
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