Coronavirus updates: 795 new cases in Arkansas, 16 new deaths

Arkansas has reported a total of 60,378 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on March 11th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — On Monday, August 24 students and teachers in the state of Arkansas begin their first day back to school. “Students need school, so let’s make sure we do everything we can to help,” Gov. Hutchinson said.  

Last week, Gov. Hutchinson announced that Arkansas’s unemployment rate reduced to 7.1%. That’s down a full percentage point from 8.1.

Arkansas also saw the largest number of deaths in a single day with 22 last week.

Key facts to know:

  • 60,378 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 5,473 active cases
  • 772 reported deaths
  • 384 hospitalizations
  • 90 on ventilators
  • 54,133 recoveries

Saturday, August 29

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms 795 new positive cases of COVID-19 in the state, bringing the total to 60,378. There have been 16 more deaths within the past 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 772.

There are currently 5,473 active cases and 54,133 Arkansans have reportedly recovered.

The department says 384 are hospitalized and 90 are on ventilators.

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

Friday, August 28

Gov. Hutchinson said he didn’t “know all the circumstances” surrounding the White House’s Republican National Convention event where Attorney General Leslie Rutledge posted photos of herself not wearing a mask or social distancing during the event.

He said it was important to set the right example, important to wear a mask and that’s what Dr. Romero has advocated for in Arkansas.

Hutchinson also said the times he has seen Rutledge during the pandemic, she’s always wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.

When asked about the increase in new cases throughout the week, Hutchinson said he he wished he could look into a crystal ball and give a clear answer.

He said the cases are spread evenly across the state instead of being clustered in one setting.

Romero said that we have to continue to urge people to use the mask any time in a public setting.

Dr. Jose Romero reported 95 people are currently on ventilators and that there were 5,496 active cases in the state.

Out of the active cases, 225 are in nursing homes, 668 are in prisons, and 4,603 are in the community.

Education Secretary Johnny Key said some of the cases reported in the school systems were preventable and urged students awaiting results to stay home.

Gov. Hutchinson announced there are 838 new coronavirus cases, 26 fewer hospitalizations and 17 more deaths.

A total of 6,360 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

Of the 838 new cases, Hutchinson said 181 were in Arkansas prisons including 123 in the Varner Unit. He said these new cases were because of the mass testing the state conducted in the prisons.

Earlier in the week, Hutchinson said in order for Arkansas to move out of the red zone for new cases per 100,000 the amount of reported cases in a week would have to be lower than 3,000.

So far, Hutchinson has announced 3,009 new cases since Monday.

RELATED: White House document lists Arkansas as red zone for coronavirus cases

Thursday, August 27

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

  • Pulaski 64
  • Benton 37
  • Sebastian 37
  • Pope 34
  • Jefferson 32
  • White 29 
    • 19 cases in a nursing home
  • Saline 27  
  • Garland 20 

Dr. Romero said the CDC has issued new guidance for asymptomatic people unless they have a high risk condition or local/state departments feel they need to be tested.

Gov. Hutchinson began the press conference with talks of Hurricane Laura. He said President Trump expressed his concerns about Arkansas. He asked how he could help and FEMA is ready and engaged. 

RELATED: President Trump approves Arkansas Emergency Declaration

There are 722 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 7 more deaths

There was a 2-person decrease in hospitalizations.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 6,682 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

The picture below shows the data that’s of positive COVID-19 cases and active cases within schools.

Wednesday, August 26

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

  • Current hospitalizations: 435
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 2,432
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 148
  • Total Vents: 1,052
  • Total Vents Available: 697
  • Total Covid patients in ICU: 228
  • Total Covid patients on vents: 108

Dr. Ivy Pfeffer, Deputy Commissioner, ADE, said they have established points of contact for every superintendent in the state. So every superintendent has a person they can call 24/7 to get answers. 

Don’t forget about their resource call center. They have 23 people at ADE who are taking these calls. They are open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • 1-833-353-6050
  • 1-501-218-4015

The governor announced the state of Arkansas has acquired 70,000 of face shields and they are being sent to every school district. It gives better protection to teachers. It goes over your face mask. Many teachers will find it useful and those will be sent out this week.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said of the 5,390 active cases, 258 are in nursing homes, 727 in correction and 4,475 in the community.

Gov. Hutchinson began the press conference with talks of Hurricane Laura. He announced he has issued an emergency declaration. That uses $250,000 in emergency funds available to prepare.  

“We know it will impact Arkansas,” the governor said. “We are expecting high winds and flooding. We are expecting downed trees and power lines. We have search and rescue teams on standby. We are also activating our emergency operations center.” 

RELATED: Gov. Hutchinson announces emergency declaration regarding Hurricane Laura

He asked Arkansans to pay attention to the weather and a reminder to not drive around barricades.

There are 649 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 21 more deaths. Six of the 21 deaths were in nursing homes, but no clustering. There was also one death from a correctional facility. She said 70% of cases who have died are in persons ages 65 or older.

There was a 7-person decrease in hospitalizations.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 4,378 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

____________

Tuesday, August 25

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

  • Current hospitalizations: 442
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 2,437
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 136
  • Total Vents: 1,052
  • Total Vents Available: 693
  • Total Covid patients in ICU: 232
  • Total Covid patients on vents: 108

The governor said there have been 3,610 antigen tests completed so far this month. This is the 95 percent accurate and quick response test. The antigen test is now available in many public health units. 

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

  • Pulaski 80
  • Faulkner 41
  • Sebastian 38
  • Saline 22

Gov. Hutchinson announced $100 million will be put into expanding high speed broadband in the rural areas of our state. He said $7 million in additional grants have been made as part of that program. 

The governor also was pleased to say Arkansas has moved from red to yellow in terms of “test positivity.” “That means the White House has recognized that we’re below 10 percent,” he said.

There are 480 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 15 more deaths. Two of those deaths were in July and seven were in nursing homes. Dr. Romero said there is no clustering, meaning no single nursing home or prison had an outbreak that led to deaths.

There was a 24-person decrease in hospitalizations.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 3,300 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

__________

Monday, August 24

Governor Hutchinson said Arkansas’s goal is as low as we can go. Reducing the positivity rate below 5% — that’s a goal. 

“We want to reduce cases until we can get a vaccine,” the governor said. “It’s now a matter of saving more lives and reducing the spread. We’re not to the point where we’re thinking about lifting limitations on capacity. We want get back to a routine life with no restrictions, but we need to have more success.”

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

  • Pulaski 46
  • Faulkner 36
  • Poinsett 23

“I’d like to point out that one-third of cases on August 10 had no symptoms,” Dr. Romero said, referring to the governor’s contact tracing graphs. “This means an asymptomatic person can still spread the virus so that’s why we encourage everyone to wear a mask.”

There are 320 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas and 9 more deaths. One of the deaths was a delayed report from last month.

Gov. Hutchinson reported 4,629 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

There was a 34-person decrease in hospitalizations.

“Today is the first day of school and I was reflecting that two weeks ago I challenged Arkansas to reduce the cases,” Gov. Hutchinson said. “I want to thank everyone to take responsibility to reduce numbers.”

There have been 140,065 COVID-19 tests completed for the month of August. 

___________

Sunday, August 23

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

  • Current Hospitalizations: 500
  • Total Beds: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 9,111
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 129
  • Total Vents: 1,052
  • Total Vents Available: 703
  • Total Covid patients in ICU: 236
  • Total Covid patients on vents: 110