Mayor Shirley Washington is urging eligible members of the public to get vaccinated against covid-19 while the delta variant is causing a surge in new cases. The Pine Bluff Convention Center will hold a Pfizer vaccination clinic from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Aug. 14 by appointment or walk-in. The Pfizer vaccine will be given to people 12 years old and older, according to the Pine Bluff Downtown Development newsletter. “I need your help,” Washington said in the newsletter. “Our community is at a state of emergency. The virus is out of control. We must address this issue aggressively.” The mayor encouraged people to spread the word about the vaccine clinic. “We must get kids within this age range (12 years and older) vaccinated before school starts. The goal is to vaccinate 1,000 on this day,” she said. “We must keep pushing until every eligible individual is vaccinated.” For the past two weeks, new covid-19 cases in Arkansas have been spiking, with almost each day topping 1,000 new cases. On Tuesday, however, the number of new cases jumped to 1,875, the most new cases in five months. According to an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette article on Wednesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he had directed the state Department of Health to “increase the intensity” of the state’s efforts to get people vac cinated. Hospitalizations are up across the state, as well. School superintendents in the area have also expressed worry over the climbing covid-19 numbers with the start of school less than a month away. And County Judge Gerald Robinson said he would make a decision by Aug. 1 over whether to re-institute a mask mandate in all county buildings, and that the decision would be based on the numbers of new cases occurring. On Monday morning, at Jefferson Regional, 27 covid-19 patients were in the hospital, equaling the top number the hospital saw months ago when covid infections were peaking. Vaccinations are administered regularly at sites including Jefferson Regional Medical Center, the county Health Department, Doctor’s Orders Pharmacy and Jefferson Comprehensive Care. A list of vaccination sites is available from the Arkansas Department of Health website at https:// www.healthy.arkansas.gov/ programs-services/topics/ covid-19-vaccination-plan. For details on the Aug. 14 city clinic, people can call: Pine Bluff mayor’s office (870) 730-2000, ext. 7, or Mary Liddell, spokesman, (870) 6432383.