LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson held a news conference Tuesday outlining the state’s response to the coronavirus while noting that total cases in the state are nearing 175,000 with 39 new deaths in the last day.

He spoke of indoor events possibly having to get approval if they are 100 or more people involved and FEMA has signed off on the utilization of beds at the VA hospital for COVID use by the state if needed

2,283 probable and confirmed cases have been added, with total cases for the state at 174,325.

39 added deaths, making the new total 2,752.

28 new hospitalizations, making the new number 1,081. 182 people on ventilators, with no change from Monday.

13,000+ tests have been conducted.

The top two counties with new cases are Pulaski (230) and Washington (175) Benton (151) Garland (118) and Faulkner (115)

Gov. Hutchinson says contact tracing has become challenging, “We will be following the CDC guidelines with vaccine distribution… healthcare workers will be first.. .then we will do nursing home residents and their staff.  There will not be enough in the first round to vaccinate all the healthcare workers in our state.”

Non-essential travel is strongly discouraged by the CDC and our secretary of health Dr. Jose Romero.

16 school districts have made changes to instruction this week…22 active modifications for schools currently. 71% of districts have not had to make any modifications because of COVID so far this school year. 79% (828) of schools have not had to do any kind of modification for learning because of COVID so far this school year.

The Governor has scheduled a prime-time address for 7 p.m. on Thursday.

This comes as many are speculating on new measures coming to address community spread and as hospital officials are continuing to see overwhelming spikes of COVID-19 patients.