Arkansas Posts Largest One-Day Increase in COVID-19 Cases

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LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas reported its largest one-day spike in new coronavirus cases on Friday, and the governor said he expected more increases in the coming week.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at least 11,547 people in the state have tested positive for the virus, an increase of 731 cases over Thursday. Hutchinson said 3,764 of those cases are active, meaning they don’t include patients have died or recovered.

The true number is likely higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected and not feel sick.

The figures marked both the largest overall one-day increase in cases and the largest among those not incarcerated, with 207 of the new cases coming from correctional facilities. The number people of people hospitalized because of the virus jumped by 16 from Thursday to 203, and the number of deaths rose by five to 176.

“As I look into next week, I do expect the cases to continue to increase,” Hutchinson told reporters “I think that is natural whenever we see the pattern we’ve seen over the last week, particularly in northwest Arkansas.”

The increase comes as Arkansas prepares to further lift virus restrictions on businesses starting Monday, a move Hutchinson has defended.

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