Fort Smith highest among five Arkansas cities for COVID-19 risks

Jul. 9, 2020


Of the five Arkansas cities in a 500-city “dashboard” that measures COVID-19 risks, Fort Smith ranks the highest in Arkansas at 9 on a scale of 1 to 10, according to data provided Wednesday by the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI).

The ranking means Fort Smith residents are at the highest risk among residents in the five cities of being infected with COVID-19 and having severe health outcomes because of the infection. Information used in the “City Health Dashboard” ranking includes socioeconomic status, age, and underlying health conditions such as high blood pressure, obesity, and diabetes.

After Fort Smith, Little Rock ranks 8, Jonesboro ranks 7, Springdale is 6, and Fayetteville is ranked at 3. The average among the 500 cities is 5.5.

“COVID-19 is not impacting all groups equally,” ACHI President and CEO Dr. Joe Thompson said in a statement. “For example, Blacks make up nearly 30% of cases and deaths in the U.S., despite only accounting for 16% of the population. The public health response to this pandemic must take into account the higher risk that some communities face because of social determinants of health, or ZIP code risk. We thank City Health Dashboard for providing this useful tool.”

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