Coronavirus in Arkansas: Governor, state officials discuss cases by region

Coronavirus

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday afternoon there are 8,425 total COVID-19 cases and 151 deaths in the state.

That’s an increase of 358 cases and nine deaths.

Dr. Nate Smith said several of the deaths were prior to yesterday in nursing homes, but just now added to the total.

According to Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of Health, two of the new cases are from correctional facilities.

Out of the new cases, 111 are in Washington County, 92 are in Benton County and 34 are in Pulaski County.

State officials say 50% of the new cases have Spanish surnames.

During the news conference, the governor showed a map showing the number of new cases by region. Out of the total of new cases, Northwest Arkansas has 234 or 65.4% of the new cases. Central Arkansas has 37 of the new cases, or 10.3%. Northeast Arkansas has 31 of the new cases, or 8.7%. Southwest Arkansas had 19 of the new cases, or 5.3%. Southeast Arkansas has 12 of the new cases, or 3.4%. Twenty-five cases are missing county information.

The governor said southeast and central Arkansas are looking better, but the number of cases in northwest Arkansas is concerning.

Governor Hutchinson said 137 people have been hospitalized due to the coronavirus, which is one less than Wednesday.

Gov. Hutchinson said he hopes the hospitalizations will level out, but it is likely to increase due to the increase of cases. Hutchinson said the number of hospitalizations are still manageable and there’s still plenty of space.

According to Dr. Smith, 32 people are on ventilators due to the virus.

Dr. Smith said there are 2,355 active cases right now. Of the active cases, 95 are in nursing homes, 43 are in correctional facilities and 2,217 are in communities.

Governor Hutchinson said 4,350 tests were completed Wednesday with a 5.2% positivity rate.

The governor said the positivity rate is staying consistent.

State officials say 12,199 tests have been completed so far this month, which is ahead of pace for 120,000.

Dr. Smith said 824 tests were done in the Arkansas Department of Health lab and UAMS did over 300 tests Wednesday.

According to Dr. Smith, 5,519 people have recovered for the virus in Arkansas.

When asked about seven returning Arkansas State University athletes testing positive for the virus, Governor Hutchinson said it wasn’t unexpected.

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