Coronavirus updates: 375 new cases in Arkansas, 13 new deaths

Arkansas has reported a total of 56,574 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on March 11th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As the state is less than one week away from school starting, Governor Asa Hutchinson said we must do our part to bring new cases down and slow the spread. “Students need school, so let’s make sure we do everything we can to help,” he said.  

On Tuesday, August 11, the state reported 383 positive cases and 4,140 total tested over a 24-hour period. This one of the lowest number of positive cases the state has seen in nearly two months.

Key facts to know:

  • 56,574 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 5,636 active cases
  • 674 reported deaths
  • 500 hospitalizations
  • 110 on ventilators
  • 50,251 recoveries

Sunday, August 23

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms 375 new positive COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to 56,574. There have been 13 more deaths, bringing the toll to 687.

There are currently 5,636 active cases in the state. There have been 50,251 recoveries.

Saturday, August 22

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms 547 new positive COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the total to 56,199. There have been 11 more deaths, bringing the death toll to 674.

There are currently 5,761 active cases in the state. There have been 49,764 recoveries.

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

Friday, August 21

Stephanie Williams, Chief of Staff, announced the the expiration date for medical marijuana cards was extended to Sept. 30. So, you need to make plans to renew your application so there’s no delay. The process can be done online or by paper. The medical certification can be done through a telemedicine visit.

She also announced the state has discovered criminals who are posing as contact tracers. They are asking questions about bank accounts, credit card numbers and cash. She reassured a contact tracer will never do that. If you want to verify, call 800-803-7847.

She said the contact tracers are calling from the following numbers:

  • 877-ARCOV19 or 877-272-6819
  • 833-CVD2019 or 833-283-2019

The governor announced the state has completed the goal of 100% testing of state prison system. He said 5,120 of 14,650 inmates have tested positive. That’s a 35% positive rate. Over the last 2 weeks, the rate reduced to 4%.

Dr. Jose Romero broke down the new COVID-19 cases by county:

  • Pulaski 80
  • Washington 57
  • Benton 47
  • Sebastian 38
  • Pope 33
  • Stone 30
  • Faulkner 29
  • Lonoke 25
  • Craighead 23
  • Crawford 23
  • Crittenden 22
  • Sevier 21
  • Garland 20
  • Independence 20
  • Poinsett 20

Gov. Hutchinson began the press conference with the latest unemployment numbers. Arkansas’s unemployment rate reduced to 7.1%. That’s down a full percentage point from 8.1. 

In May, Arkansas’s unemployment rate was at 9.6%. The current Arkansas rate is 3% below the national average.That means there are 14,000 more Arkansans working – compared to July.

“We are creating jobs, but as long as the pandemic continues, there will be struggles,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

There are 887 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 22 more deaths. That is the largest number in a single day. Of those deaths, 11 were in nursing homes and sevem came from a single county. Four of the deaths came from July, but that still leaves 18 that are recent.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 6,396 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

There were 10 new hospitalizations.

____________

Thursday, August 20

Dr. Jose Romero broke down the new COVID-19 cases by county:

  • Pulaski 51
  • Sebastian 35
  • Jefferson 29
  • Craighead 21
  • Garland 24
  • Crawford 22
  • Pope 20
  • Mississippi 20

Dr. Romero said he wants to remind everyone that the virus will do what it wants to do. 

“Once exposed and infected, it may take 14 days before you have symptoms or the virus is detectable, Dr. Romero said. “A positive test means you have the virus. A negative test does not mean you’re not infected. It only means that the virus has not decided to make enough of itself to be detectable. Even if you have a negative test, you must quarantine yourself for 14 days.”

There are 549 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 10 more deaths. Out of the 10 new COVID-19 deaths reported, three are from nursing homes and three are delayed reportings from July. 

Gov. Hutchinson reported 6,898 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

There were no new hospitalizations.

___________

Wednesday, August 19

Below are the daily statewide hospitalization numbers as given to us by hospitals as of 2 p.m. today.

  • Current hospitalizations: 499
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 2,480
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  •  Total ICU Beds Available: 128
  • Total Vents: 1,052
  • Total Vents Available: 692
  • Total COVID patients in ICU: 237
  • Total COVID patients on vents: 114 

Dr. Jose Romero broke down the new COVID-19 cases by county:

  • Pulaski 65
  • Jefferson 56 
  • Sebastian 52
  • Craighead 33 
  • Washington 32 
  • Pope 30
  • Benton 29
  • Mississippi 25 
  • Garland at 25 
  • Johnson 22

Gov. Hutchinson started the daily press conference and announced Arkansas will be submitting its application to FEMA for $300 enhanced unemployment benefits. It was approved by the legislature yesterday. 

The governor also commented on the UAMS forecasting model. 

“As a policy maker, I want all the data that I can give,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “There are always bits and pieces that are helpful to me as a policy maker. In regards to infections, there will be no data that we can have in the future that shows whether modeling is right or wrong, which means you can’t measure the true accuracy of the model. But, the hospitalizations is concrete so that is helpful. The June 12 model had our peak Sept. 30, then it was modified to be in November and most recent modeling is in Decemeber. This is good news because we’re flattening our cases.”

RELATED: UAMS projects new COVID-19 cases would decrease if schools open with online classes

There are 729 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 12 more deaths.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 4,675 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

Hospitalizations are up seven.

__________

Tuesday, August 18

In a forecasting model published by UAMS, Arkansas will have about 58,000 cumulative cases by August 24 and made a point that COVID-19 has a disproportionate impact on Black and Hispanic communities.

“The number of new daily COVID-19 cases has increased in all age groups over time and the models used to forecast cases by age indicate cases will continue to increase in all age groups in the next two weeks,” the report summarized.

To view the full report, click here.

Below are the daily statewide hospitalization numbers as reported to us by hospitals and as of 2 p.m. today.

  • Current hospitalizations: 492
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Available Beds: 2,517
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 119
  • Total Vents: 1,052
  • Total Vents Available: 709
  • Total COVID patients in ICU: 242
  • Total COVID patients on vents: 120

Dr. Dillaha said of the 410 new cases, 85 were in prison facilities and 325 in the community.

There are 5,898 active cases in the state.

“When someone is infected, it can take 14 days to become ill,” Dr. Dillaha said. “But, the average is 4-5 days. After a person has developed symptoms, it takes about 10 days to clear the virus. It’s important that people with symptoms get isolated as quickly as possible to stop the spread. “

Gov. Hutchinson announced that City of Earle has received $1.8 million grant to work with Comcast to expand rural and hard to reach areas. The state put put $24 million into these grants and are putting another $100 billion into this.

There are 410 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 16 more deaths.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 4,675 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

Hospitalizations are up 16.

The top counties with the highest of amount of new COVID-19 cases are Sebastian County with 44, Pulaski County with 40, and Washington County with 29.

__________

Monday, August 17

In regards to reports of teachers in the Little Rock School District protesting the reopening of on-site instruction, Hutchinson said he was “disappointed” that the teachers union is pushing teachers to not show up.

He said it wouldn’t be helpful for the students.

RELATED: LREA releases call to action, urges virtual learning only

Dr. Jose Romero said of the 412 new cases, 12 were in prison facilities and 400 in the community.

There are 6,341 active cases in the state. Thirty-eight are in nursing homes, 994 in prisons, and 5,309 in the community.

Romero said that transmission of the virus is now mostly through community spread and urged people that are gathering to wear masks and practice social distancing.

Below are the daily statewide hospitalization numbers as reported to us by hospitals and as of 2 p.m.: 

  • Current hospitalizations: 486
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 2,729
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 157
  • Total Vents: 1,051
  • Total Vents Available: 687
  • Total Covid patients in ICU: 244
  • Total Covid patients on vents: 120

There are 412 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and four more deaths.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 4,093 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

Hospitalizations are up eight.

The University of Arkansas released its plans for game day during the coronavirus pandemic. Some guidelines include guests and employees wearing face coverings, no tailgating and a reduced capacity at the stadium.