Arkansas Reports 2nd Highest Spike in New Virus Cases

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LITTLE ROCK — Arkansas on Wednesday reported its second-highest increase in new confirmed coronavirus cases and four more deaths from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus.

The Department of Health said at least 25,246 people have tested positive for the virus, an increase of 734 cases since Tuesday. The department said 5,545 of those cases are active, meaning they don’t include people who have died or recovered. 

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

Wednesday’s one-day increase was the highest since Arkansas reported 878 new confirmed cases on Thursday. Arkansas’ cases are dramatically higher since the state began allowing businesses that closed because of the pandemic to reopen in May.

Four more people died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, bringing the state’s total fatalities to 305. The state’s hospitalizations dropped by 11 to 358.

Arkansas Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith also said a summer camp had shut down after campers and staff had tested positive for the virus. A Health Department spokeswoman said Camp Ozark in Mt. Ida informed the department of at least three people from out of state who had tested positive, though the department did not have a breakdown of how many were campers and how many were staff.

Smith said the camp decided on its own to shut down. The camp did not immediately respond to email and phone messages.

“We support that decision and we appreciate them partnering with us and we’ll continue to work with them in whatever way needed,” Smith said. 

The state allowed summer camps to open at the end of May, but with new safety measures because of the virus. A summer camp in neighboring Missouri has seen scores of coronavirus cases, health officials revealed this week.

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