Arkansas officials want to complete 60,000 COVID-19 tests in May

LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas — As of Wednesday, May 6, the Arkansas Department of Health has confirmed a total of 3,611 positive cases.

On Wednesday, April 29, 2,520 COVID-19 tests were performed in Arkansas, with a 1.5% positivity rate. This is the highest number of tests run in one day in the state since March 11.

On Friday, Gov. Hutchinson announced a plan to reopen hair salons and barbershops. We learned on Thursday that gyms will be able to open up starting on Monday, May 4, followed by restaurants the following Monday, May 11.

Key facts to know:

  • 3,611 confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 59,995 total tests
  • 56,384 negative test results
  • 87 reported deaths
  • 69 currently hospitalized
  • 2,123 recoveries
  • All Arkansas schools are closed for the remainder of the school year

Wednesday, May 6

8 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health has updated the state-wide COVID-19 numbers, confirming a total of 3,611 positive cases throughout the state, which is a 48 case jump since this afternoon’s press briefing.

6:20 p.m.

According to a spokesperson for Kroger, a person employed at the Cantrell Marketplace location has tested positive for the coronavirus.

The last time the employee worked was on Saturday, May 2.

READ MORE: Employee at Cantrell Kroger tests positive for COVID-19

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson confirms there are 72 new confirmed positive cases of COVID-19 and two more deaths in Arkansas since Tuesday. Twenty of those confirmed cases are in correctional institutes. This brings the total to 3,568 cases and 85 deaths. The hospitalizations dropped from 89 to 69 since Tuesday and there are 14 on ventilators.

The governor announced the CDC is providing Arkansas with 90,000 kits and swabs in the month of May for coronavirus testing. He said the goal for the month of May is to give 60,000 COVID-19 tests.

Dr. Nate Smith with the Arkansas Department of Health announced dental offices will be allowed to open on May 11. 

The Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force is launching a website on Friday, which will be a resource for business owners, employees, and the state of Arkansas in general.

Tuesday, May 5

9 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health updated the COVID-19 numbers throughout the state, confirming a total of 3,525 positive cases and 2,091 recoveries.

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson signed a new executive order that extends Arkansas’s state of emergency for an additional 45 days.

He also announced 38 new positive COVID-19 cases and three new deaths. That brings the total deaths due to COVID-19 up to 83.

Hutchinson also announced a directive that would allow recreational visitor from out-of-state as long as they are not from “hot spot” states. He listed New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and the city of New Orleans as current hot spots.

The governor said if someone does visit from one of those “hot spot” states, they are expected to self-quarantine for 14 days.

He said the objective of this directive to to allow hotels and lodges to extend occupancy from those visiting from other states.

Monday, May 4

9 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health updated the COVID-19 numbers throughout the state, confirming a total of 3,469 positive cases and 2,041 recoveries from the virus.

2:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Ready for Business grant program will be open to all industry sectors and companies can apply at ArkansasEDC.com/COVID19.

A total of $55 million will be available and there will be a $100,000 cap per company.

The website will be open until 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 6.

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson announced 27 new COVID-19 cases in the state for Monday so far. He also announced five new deaths, bringing the total to 81.

Hutchinson also announced during the press conference that places of worship and large outdoor venues could reopen with restrictions.

For places of worship, the Arkansas Department of Health is advising 6-foot physical distancing except for family group and face coverings must be worn inside at all times if you are older than 10 years old.

Outdoor venues must have 12-foot distance between performers and audience and there must be 50 or fewer audience members.

RELATED: Places of worship, large venues in Arkansas can reopen with restrictions

Sunday, May 3

3:00 p.m.

There are now a total of 3,431 positive cases in Arkansas and three new deaths due to COVID-19 since yesterday.

According to the Arkansas Department of Corrections, three prison inmates died today— two were being treated for COVID-19 symptoms.

The third death took place within the Cummins Unit infirmary after he “collapsed in front of correctional officers,” the ADC said in a statement. They say they don’t believe the death to be COVID-19 related, but an autopsy will be performed to confirm the manner of death.

RELATED: Nearly 2,000 people have recovered from COVID-19 in Arkansas

RELATED: 4 Arkansas prison inmates die from coronavirus, officials say