Coronavirus updates: 771 new cases in Arkansas, 4 new deaths

Arkansas has seen a total of 32,533 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on March 11th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — On Saturday, July 11, the Arkansas Department of Health confirmed 1,061 new coronavirus cases in the state within 24 hours, bringing the biggest single day increase since the start of the pandemic in Arkansas

Governor Hutchinson said the record high number of cases is concerning and could be a result of July 4th celebrations.

Last week, Gov. Hutchinson also announced schools will return this fall, but will return at a later date. The start date of school will be the week of August 24, but no later than August 26.

Key facts to know:

  • 32,533 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 6,884 active cases
  • 357 reported deaths
  • 464 hospitalizations (as of July 17)
  • 97 on ventilators (as of July 17)
  • 25,292 recoveries

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Saturday, July 18

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms 771 new COVID-19 cases within 24 hours, bringing the total to 32,533. There are now 6,884 active cases in the state. There have been 25,292 recoveries.

There have been 4 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 357.

Watch Friday’s 1:30 p.m. press conference:

Thursday, July 16

Dr. Nate Smith provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 648 new cases
    • 39 in prisons
    • 609 community
  • 6,633 active cases
    • 131 in nursing homes
    • 1,013 in prisons
    • 5,489 in community
  • 464 hospitalizations
  • 97 ventilators
  • 353 deaths
  • 24,776 recoveries

The state unemployment rate decreased from 9.6% in May to 8% in June. The national rate is 11.1%.

Gov. Hutchinson started the press conference off by announcing Sen. David Pryor has been released from the hospital after battling COVID-19.

During the press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 648 new cases, which brings the known total to 31,762. There were 12 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 353.

There was a 6-person decrease in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total down to 464. 

There were 5,861 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 68
  • Washington County – 44
  • Craighead County – 32
  • Pope County – 30 
  • Benton County – 29
  • Garland County – 24
  • Sebastian County – 22
  • Saline County – 21

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Wednesday, July 15

During a press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 817 new cases, which brings the known total to 31,114. Six more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 341.

There was a 12-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 470. 

There were 6,020 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

Dr. Nate Smith provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 817 new cases
    • 81 in prisons
    • 736 community
  • 6,578 active cases
    • 138 in nursing homes
    • 978 in prisons
    • 5,465 in community
  • 470 hospitalizations
  • 101 ventilators
  • 341 deaths
  • 24,195 recoveries

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 114
  • Washington County – 68
  • Benton County – 48 
  • Sebastian County – 43
  • Pope County – 40 
  • Yell County – 26 
  • Faulkner County – 27 
  • Garland County – 24
  • Arkansas County – 20
  • Craighead County – 22

Watch Thursday’s press conference:

During a press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced a state-wide mandate for the state of Arkansas.

The governor said this decision came after conversations with those on the front-lines and legislators. He said that the fight against COVID-19 will likely get harder, not easier, and this is a way to enlist everyone in the fight.

The mask mandate will take effect on Monday, July 20. Masks will be required in indoor and outdoor areas where 6-foot physical distancing is not possible. There are a number of exceptions: children under the age of 10, participating in athletic activities, consuming of food and drink and more.

Violation of the directive is a misdemeanor offense. Conviction could come with fine of $100-500. First time violators and kids under 18 will get a warning. Police cannot detain or arrest anyone under the order.

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“If you came into your living room and the curtains were on fire you wouldn’t say, ‘Well that’s less than 1%, I’m not gonna worry about, it let’s wait until it gets up to 2 or 3%,” Dr. Smith said on COVID-19 cases. “The first is still burning and we can’t let up until we put it out.”

Dr. Nate Smith provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 564 new cases
    • 78 in prisons
    • 486 community
  • 6,439 active cases
    • 130 in nursing homes
    • 979 in prisons
    • 5,330 in community
  • 458 hospitalizations
  • 94 ventilators
  • 335 deaths
  • 23,523 recoveries

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 78
  • Sebastian County – 52
  • Washington County – 46
  • Benton County – 38

Arkansas has tested over 80,800 people for COVID-19 in the month of July. There is a 7.6% positivity rate for all of Arkansas. 

Watch Wednesday’s press conference:

During a press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 564 new cases, which brings the known total to 30,297. Four more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 335.

There was a 13-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 458. 

There were 5,146 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

Walmart and Sam’s Club have announced that customers will soon be required to wear masks or face coverings when entering any of their stores. 

The new requirement will take effect Monday, July 20 across the U.S, Walmart COO Dacona Smith and Sam’s Club COO Lance de la Rosa said in a joint statement. 

RELATED: Walmart and Sam’s Club will soon require all shoppers to wear face masks

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Tuesday, July 14

Dr. Nate Smith provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 794 new cases
    • 33 in prisons
    • 761 community
  • 6,558 active cases
    • 130 in nursing homes
    • 971 in prisons
    • 5,457 in community
  • 445 hospitalizations
  • 91 ventilators
  • 331 deaths
  • 22,844 recoveries

Dr Nate Smith said there seems to be a downward trend in the central region of Arkansas “but I’m still concerned.”

Gov. Hutchinson recognized Arkansas cities that have adopted mask ordinances. Several others are in the decision-making process at this time.

RELATED: Here’s which Arkansas cities have adopted ordinances requiring masks in public

The state also added a second COVID-19 contact tracing vendor last week. They are set to start on July 20th and will add an additional 350 contact tracers in Arkansas.

Watch Tuesday’s press conference:

During a press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 794 new cases, which brings the known total to 29,733. Eight more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 331.

There was a 6-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 445. 

There were 6,563 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 111
  • Washington County – 68
  • Sebastian County – 52
  • Pope County – 41
  • Johnson County – 37
  • Benton County – 36
  • Crittenden County – 29
  • Faulkner County – 24

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Monday, July 13

Dr. Nate Smith provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 572 new cases
    • 3 in prisons
    • 569 community
  • 6,510 active cases
    • 127 in nursing homes
    • 958 in prisons
    • 5,425 in community
  • 439 hospitalizations
  • 89 ventilators
  • 323 deaths
  • 22,106 recoveries

Dr. Smith mentioned a large portion from Saturday’s high case numbers were from the prison unit in Malvern. In last four days, over 500 in that facility have tested positive for COVID-19.

“I heard some people say that masks don’t work,” Dr. Smith said as he touched on the subject of masks. “These cloth and surgical masks are designed for source control. The masks were very well for surgeons. So if everyone is wearing a mask, we are keeping our respiratory secretions to ourselves. They work very well. If we can get everyone to wear a mask, we can get everyone to keep their droplets to themselves.”

Watch Monday’s press conference:

Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at the beginning of his COVID-19 press briefing Monday that former Arkansas Governor and U.S. Senator David Pryor is currently in the hospital after testing positive for coronavirus. 

Hutchinson said he spoke with former U.S. Senator Mark Pryor, David’s son, earlier in the day to discuss the news and to offer prayers to the family

RELATED: Former Arkansas Governor, Senator David Pryor in hospital with COVID-19

During a press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 572 new cases, which brings the known total to 28,939. Two more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 323.

There was a 19-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 439. 

There were 5,253 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 77
  • Washington County – 53
  • Sebastian County – 40
  • Pope County – 25
  • Mississippi County – 23
  • Benton County – 23
  • Crittenden County – 22
  • Craighead County – 20
  • Jefferson County – 20

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson tweeted out “statewide mandatory masking” after the state reported 1,061 coronavirus cases on Saturday.

Although Governor Asa Hutchinson has yet to issue a mandatory mask requirement for the state, officials drafted up an ordinance that cities could use to encourage using face masks in public.

RELATED: UAMS chancellor calls for ‘mandatory masking’ in Arkansas after 1,061 cases in one day

Over the weekend:

RELATED: DeVos says schools shouldn’t get federal funds if they don’t reopen in the fall

RELATED: Army veteran dies from coronavirus at 37; friends hope his death will serve as cautionary tale

RELATED: How to treat COVID-19 in a multi-person household

RELATED: State inspectors find most Arkansas eateries & bars in compliance