After more than a year of a global pandemic, will houses of worship be forever changed? Rev. Nancy Frausto, associate rector at St. Luke's Episcopal Church in Long Beach, California, will deliver a pair of talks on the the subject this weekend. The virtual events are part of St. Paul's Tippy McMichael Lecture Series.

Courtesy / U.S. Secretary of Defense

On this week's edition of the Northwest Arkansas Business Journal Report, we hear from Ray Hanley, the president and CEO of the Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, about the high rate of COVID-19 vaccine hesitancy in Arkansas and what can be done to encourage more people to get vaccinated, especially as the reluctance was escalated by the federal government’s recommendation this week to pause the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine.

At his weekly coronavirus response briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson made a familiar appeal to Arkansans: get vaccinated against COVID-19. His plea came just hours after the federal government recommended a pause on using Johnson & Johnson's Janssen vaccine following reports of six instances of rare and severe blood clots in women between the ages of 18 and 48.

Courtesy / UAMS

When a global pandemic was declared, many researchers based at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock immediately pivoted to investigating ways to detect and treat COVID-19. UAMS Vice Chancellor for Research, Shuk-Mei Ho, Ph.D., who leads the Division of Research and Innovation, highlights key research. 

courtesy / Facebook/VHSO

Many millions more U.S. veterans, including those not presently enrolled in VA health benefits, will be able to access no-cost COVID-19 vaccinations administered by the Department of Veterans Affairs, under the new Strengthening and Amplifying Vaccination Efforts to Locally Immunize all Veterans and Every Spouse Act, or SAVE LIVES ActKelvin Parks, medical director of the Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks in Fayetteville, explains how the new law will work. 

Courtesy / YouTube

There were 17 patients in COVID-19 wards across Washington and Benton Counties on Tuesday, which is a significant drop from the early January average of 128 COVID-19 patients per days. Hospitalizations have also fallen across the state, but at his weekly coronavirus response briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson urged Arkansans not to become complacent about taking precautions against the virus. The governor said he's most concerned about the increase numbers of COVID-19 variants that are being detected in more than a dozen states and several countries in Europe. Dr.

Courtesy / OU Health

Many people remain hesitant about receiving a COVID-19 vaccine. Dr. Douglas Drevets with the University of Oklahoma and a representative of the Infectious Diseases Society of America offers ways to encourage people to get the vaccine.

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Calls to Arkansas's child abuse hotline have increased after the lifting of coronavirus restrictions. We learn about how the pandemic has impacted the process of identifying and supporting abused children. 


COVID-19 Hospitalizations Steadily Decrease in March

Apr 6, 2021

In our monthly conversation with the assistant editors of, we discuss the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic. The number of hospitalizations and new cases in March declined to levels not seen since the start of the pandemic a year ago.

Courtesy / University of Arkansas

The University of Arkansas is maintaining its campus mask requirement after Gov. Asa Hutchinson lifted the statewide mask mandate on Mar. 30. The university is also offering more vaccinations to staff and students as they prepare to bring more people back to campus this summer.