Coronavirus updates: 728 new cases in Arkansas, 11 more deaths

Arkansas has seen a total of 34,655 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on March 11th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Last week, Gov. Hutchinson announced a state-wide mandate for the state of Arkansas. The mask mandate will take effect on Monday, July 20.

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

Key facts to know:

  • 34,655 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas
  • 7,127 active cases as of July 20
  • 374 reported deaths as of July 20
  • 488 hospitalizations 
  • 111 on ventilators
  • 26,397 recoveries as of July 20

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

Tuesday, July 21

Gov. Hutchinson said the state of Arkansas is committed to starting school the week of August 24th. For students, “it’s important to their emotional health and their education.” He played a clip of several infectious disease experts saying they’re comfortable sending their own children back to school.  

Secretary of Education Johnny Key highlighted several districts that are implementing Ready for Learning plans.

Dr. Jose Romero provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 728 new cases
    • 122 in prisons
    • 606 community
  • 6,998 active cases
    • 138 in nursing homes
    • 921 in prisons
    • 5,939 in community
  • 488 hospitalizations
  • 110 ventilators
  • 374 deaths
  • 27,283 recoveries

During the press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 728 new cases, which brings the known total to 34,655. There were 11 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 374.

There was a 17-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 488.

There were 5,670 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 110
  • Washington County – 62
  • Crawford County – 46
  • Benton County -45
  • Sebastian County – 30
  • Jefferson County – 29
  • Saline County – 24

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Monday, July 20

Dr. Jose Romero provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 648 new cases
    • 11 in prisons
    • 688 community
  • 7,127 active cases
    • 121 in nursing homes
    • 1,093 in prisons
    • 5,953 in community
  • 471 hospitalizations
  • 111 ventilators
  • 363 deaths
  • 26,397 recoveries

Arkansas has been allocated 8.2 Million to help with energy bills.  Mitchell Simpson with the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality said both programs will launch Monday, July 27.

“It’s an exciting relaunch of our LIHEAP program,” Simpson said. “It will now be enhanced. $6.9 million will go to crisis program and $1.23 million will go to air conditioning program.”

LIHEAP changes:

  • It differs from traditional LIHEAP becuase this adds winter fuels/things
  • Max increased from 500 to 1,500
  • Usually you have to present a shutoff notice, but now you can submit a past due notice

The 2nd program funded by the CARES Act is for the air conditioning program. You must meet 4 qualifying conditions:

  • Elderly in home
  • Disability in home
  • Child age 5 or under
  • Medical condition that can be verified

Watch Monday’s press conference:

During the press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 699 new cases, which brings the known total to 33,927. There were 6 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 363.

There was a 18-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total up to 471.

Governor Hutchinson said Arkansas is “too high” in terms of hospitalizations per 100,000. This “shows the potential stress on hospitals” and strain on health care workers.

There were 5,689 COVID-19 tests completed in the last 24 hours with a positivity rate of 9.6%.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County – 60
  • Washington County – 94
  • Benton County – 57
  • Craighead County – 28
  • Mississippi County – 26
  • Pope County – 26
  • Sebastian County – 25
  • Garland County – 24
  • Miller County – 24
  • Arkansas County – 21
  • Faulkner County – 21

The governor announced there has been a request for Arkansas to provide National Guard assistance. He said 10 National Guard members will support the case management work at Washington Regional Medical Center for the next 30 days.

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Over the weekend:

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