Coronavirus in Ark.: Governor, Sec. of Health discuss model of peak number of infections, hospitalizations


MOUNTAIN HOME, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson and Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith discussed current cases and the UAMS models on future cases, hospitalizations, Intensive Care Unit Admissions and ventilators needed.

The governor and Secretary of Health gave Tuesday’s coronavirus update in Mountain Home. The governor said before the news conference, he had met with representatives of local businesses. The governor said Baxter County has few cases and is doing something good that the state might learn. The governor did warn that Boone and Baxter counties were not immune.

Dr. Smith said only one person aged 65 or older in Baxter County had tested positive for the virus.

Smith said 60% of the cases in Baxter County are in Mountain Home.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 16,678 total COVID-19 cases and 237 deaths in the state, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson. That’s an increase of 595 cases and 10 deaths since Monday.

Dr. Smith said there are currently 5,221 active cases in Arkansas.

According to Smith, 103 of the active cases are in nursing homes, 779 are in correctional facilities and 4,339 are in communities.

The governor said of the new cases, 212 were in correctional facilities and 383 were in communities.

Dr. Smith said two correctional facilities are seeing an increase in cases, the Benton County Jail has 188 cases and the Ouachita Unit had 128 test positive.

According to the governor, there were 11 additional hospitalizations within the last 24 hours. The current number of hospitalizations is 248.

Smith said 57 people are on a ventilator, which is a decrease of four.

According to Dr. Smith, 11,220 people have recovered from the virus, an increase of 427.

Governor Hutchinson said 5,344 tests were completed within the last 24 hours.

Dr. Smith said 126,120 tests have been completed so far in June, surpassing the goal of 120,000 tests.

The governor said there has been a lot of discussion across the state about the UAMS modeling for coronavirus cases and where this will go in the fall.

According to UAMS, the predicted peak date is September 19 according to a worst-case estimate or September 30 based on an average-case estimate.

The estimated total number of infections is 133,056 based on average-case estimates or 251,834 based on worst-case estimates.

The estimated hospitalizations are 3,326 based on average-case estimates or 6,295 based on worst-case estimates.

The number of estimated ICU admissions is 997 based on mean-case estimates or 1,888 based on worst-case estimates.

According to UAMS, 698 ventilators would be needed according to mean-case estimates or 1,322 based on worst-case estimates.

The governor said the modeling UAMS does is the current trajectory and the goal is to change the trajectory with what the Department of Health is doing, massive amounts of testing, contact tracing and breaking up strains of transmission.

Hutchinson said we can all help by social distancing.

Dr. Smith said while it is concerning how the virus spreads quickly, we have learned how to protect ourselves and how to reduce the spread by spacing, wearing masks in public and avoiding going out.

Governor Hutchinson said the estimates are very high numbers and we’ll see where they would peak.

You can watch the full news conference above.

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