Governor Hutchinson Provides Weekly Briefing on Computer Science Enrollment, Urges Flu Shot

LITTLE ROCK – During his weekly briefing today, Governor Asa Hutchinson gave an update on Computer Science Enrollment in Arkansas, urged Arkansans about the importance of the flu shot, and provided the latest on COVID-19 in Arkansas.

Computer Science Enrollment in Arkansas

The Governor updated the enrollment numbers for Computer Science in Arkansas showing that Arkansas once again saw an increase in high school enrollments. Last school year there were 10,450 students enrolled and then 12,547 this fall. He noted that this is the largest raw number increase (year over year) since 2015. Ninth graders continue to be the largest percentage of the population (26%) taking a CS course; however, but the numbers also include 8th grade, with 6% of students taking a high school CS course in 8th grade.“ Arkansas continues to lead the nation in terms of our computer science education, which is demonstrated by the investments we have made,” Governor Hutchinson said, “One of the outcomes is that we are seeing a growth of technology companies in Arkansas because of our investments.” Because of Act 414 going into effect next year, this is the last year without a student mandate, “To see the growth without the mandate is a good sign,” Governor Hutchinson said. Act 414 will require all students to earn one credit in high school computer science. The act will also require all Arkansas high schools to employ at least one computer science certified educator by the 2023-2024 school year.

COVID-19 Latest

Governor Hutchinson reported 502 new cases for Tuesday, a downward trend from last week as active cases continue to drop as well. The report included 14 additional deaths in Arkansas. He noted that 11,527 doses of the vaccine were given out over the last 24 hours with about 60 percent of those being booster shots.“ We have increased fully immunized by 1,700 today, but we really need to accelerate that as we look towards the winter months coming,” Governor Hutchinson said.

Flu Shots

Governor Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero with the Arkansas Department of Health received their flu shot during the briefing and talked about the importance of the flu shot for Arkansans. Over the Summer, Arkansas saw an increase in average flu cases than we usually have, which he said has raised concerns that Arkansas might see more flu than usual this winter. In 2017-2018 Arkansas lost 228 people to the flu in the deadliest flu season recorded in the last 10 years. This past flu season Arkansas had 23 deaths and some of those had COVID-19 as well. He said it will be important to prevent both this winter. “I encourage everyone that flu season is here, and it is important to get the flu shot, We have talked a lot about the COVID vaccination and will continue to emphasize that, but we can’t neglect the importance of the flu shot,” Governor Hutchinson said. You can watch the full briefing HERE. You can view the slide presentation from today’s briefing HERE.

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