Coronavirus in Arkansas: Governor announces 946 cases in state, ADH Secretary announces 18 deaths total

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday afternoon there are 946 cases of the coronavirus in Arkansas.

That is 71 more cases than Monday afternoon.

Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, said of the 946 cases, 21 were children, 237 were adults aged 65 and older, and the rest would be on their website Tuesday afternoon.

Dr. Smith also said of the current cases, 134 are healthcare workers. Of the 134 healthcare workers, 16 are physicians, 41 are nurses and 19 are certified nursing assistants.

Sixty-one of the 946 cases are nursing home residents, according to Dr. Smith.

In Tuesday’s news conference, Dr. Smith also announced 24 inmates and five staff at the Federal Correctional Institution in Forrest City have tested positive for the virus. Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are expected to be on-site Wednesday.

Seventy-four people are hospitalized due to the coronavirus in Arkansas and 24 people are on a ventilator, according to Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith announced two additional deaths were reported, making the total as of Tuesday afternoon to 18 deaths due to complications from the coronavirus.

According to Dr. Smith, the two recently announced deaths were people 65 years or older.

Dr. Smith announced 152 people have recovered from the virus. He also explained the Department of Health’s recovery requirements for people who are not hospitalized is seven days after the onset of symptoms and after three days the person is fever free. People who are not admitted to the hospital do not have to be re-tested. For those who are hospitalized, they are tested again.

Governor Hutchinson also announced Tuesday he amended the executive order, giving cities the flexibility of having a curfew and closing city-owned parks and facilities as long as they don’t impede commerce and talk with the Governor’s office.

Both Governor Hutchinson and Dr. Smith said Monday had the greatest number of tests in one day to date with 1,436 tests completed. Dr. Smith said of the tests completed on Monday, the positive rating in total was 1.6 percent. Of the testings done Monday, 1,285 came from commercial labs, 73 came from the Arkansas Department of Health lab and 78 came from UAMS. The positive rate for the ADH lab was higher at 16.4 percent because they were doing targeted testing. UAMS had a 2.6 percent positive test rating. Dr. Smith says the state is seeing a lower positive test rates.

Governor Asa Hutchinson also announced Tuesday that The Heart Hospital is donating 500 tests from Abbott Labs for healthcare workers.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. spoke about a new executive order against caravanning in the Captial City. The mayor said he believes a stay-at-home order would be best for Little Rock, but is working within the confines and respecting the order.

The governor said he has received calls from a number of different mayors, which brought forward a need for a statewide policy on whether to shelter in place or not. There is currently not a shelter-in-place order for Arkansas.

Arkansas State Police Director Col. Bill Bryant talked about enforcement and how state police are there to support other agencies and the Governor’s office.

You can watch the full news conference above.

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