MEMPHIS, Tenn. — With the Omicron variant reported in surrounding states, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson is urging everyone in the state to get vaccinated.

Hutchinson stated in his weekly briefing that more than 80 percent of the state’s COVID cases, hospitalizations and deaths have been from unvaccinated people.

“As cases continue to increase, we’re also seeing more breakthrough cases among vaccinated individuals ages 65 and older,” he said.

The governor’s office also said with the state below the national average for vaccinated children, parents should get educated on the vaccine.

Secretary of Health Jose Romero said the health department is screening tests for the variant both in-house and out of state.

“We take random samples that are positive and send to the CDC or to a laboratory that’s partnered with us,” Romero said.

Over 500,000 COVID-19 cases have been reported. However, there has been 17,000 vaccinations in the last 24 hours.

Gov. Hutchinson said vaccination is the best protection against COVID-19.