Arkansas Reports 838 COVID-19 Cases; Colleges A Concern

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Arkansas’ top health official on Friday said the state is beginning to see coronavirus outbreaks at its college campuses as the number of confirmed cases statewide rose by 838.

The Department of Health said at least 59,583 people have tested positive for the virus. The department said 5,496 of those are active cases that don’t include people who have died or recovered. 

The number of people who have died from COVID-19, the illness caused by the virus, rose by 17 to 756. The number of people hospitalized dropped by 26 to 407.

Dr. Jose Romero, the state’s health secretary, said testing events are planned at universities where officials are seeing outbreaks. In one instance, Romero said, one-third of 75 people tested recently at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville tested positive.

“That is an alarming amount,” he said. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said 181 of the new cases reported Friday came from correctional facilities, most from the state’s Varner Unit.

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