Governor Hutchinson announces state saw largest increase of community cases in 24 hour period on Wednesday

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the state saw the largest number of community cases in a 24 hour period on Wednesday.

As of Thursday, there are 6,538 total cases and 125 deaths in the state, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

There were 261 new cases on Wednesday. Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said all of the new cases were in communities.

Of the new cases, the governor said 85 were in Benton County, 25 were in Washington County and 22 were in Pulaski County.

Dr. Smith also said 17 cases were reported in Crittenden County, 12 cases were reported in Craighead County, 11 cases were reported in Sevier County and all other counties had fewer than 10 cases reported.

Dr. Smith said more than 40% of the new cases are in Benton County and Washington County.

Smith said the average age of Benton County patients was 40 years old and the age range is 3 years old to 72 years old.

In Benton County, 76% of the new cases were in Rogers and 85% are from the Latino community, according to Smith.

In Washington County, 80% of the new cases were in Springdale and 40% are from the Latino community, according to Smith.

Smith said the average age of the new cases patients was 38 years old with the youngest being 3 years old and the oldest 78 years old.

Dr. Smith said in Sevier County, 45% were in the Latino community.

The governor said of the 261 new cases, 42% have Spanish last names. Hutchinson said state officials are exploring that more carefully. Gov. Hutchinson said he wants increased outreach in the Hispanic community.

Smith also said there seems to be rapid increases in the Latino community.

The governor said the Arkansas Department of Health does contact tracing on each case.

The governor said for every case, there are 2.8 contacts.

According to the governor, 992 individuals need to be quarantined for 14 days due to the 261 new cases.

“It’s a real consequence for a person’s individual life, work and productivity,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Hutchinson said it is another way to emphasize how important it is to reduce spread and control the virus.

The governor said it doesn’t just impact the case but everyone who has been in contact with that person.

There were five additional deaths due to complications of the coronavirus on Wednesday.

The governor said the number of hospitalizations due to the coronavirus in the state decreased by four to 104.

Dr. Smith said 27 people are on ventilators due to COVID-19, which is an increase of five.

Dr. Smith said of the total number of cases, 1,830 are considered active cases. Of the active cases, 71 are in nursing homes, 374 are in correctional facilities and 1,385 are in communities, according to Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith said eight additional health care workers have tested positive for the virus.

Eight additional nursing home residents and six additional nursing home staff have also tested positive for the coronavirus, according to Dr. Smith.

Dr. Smith said 4,583 people have recovered from the virus in Arkansas, which was an increase of 159 from Wednesday.

Governor Hutchinson said there have been 67,500 tests done in Arkansas in the month of May, which exceeds the goal set by state officials.

The governor said 2,966 tests were done within the last 24 hours with a 3.9% positivity rate.

Hutchinson said over the last three days, the positivity rating has remained under 5%.

The governor said the state has seen early on in the pandemic, Pine Bluff and Pulaski County had the bulk of cases, then has seen Crittenden and northeast Arkansas, but most recently, the state has seen northwest Arkansas has the most cases. According to the governor, the virus is moving sequentially across the state with isolated geographical areas.

Dr. Smith also said with the second wave of COVID-19, it is now focused in northwest Arkansas.

Dr. Smith said more cases are asymptomatic or not yet showing symptoms.

Dr. Smith said half of the people tested reported no symptoms at the time of their test.

According to Dr. Smith, 74% of the people who tested positive in the last week reported no symptoms.

Governor Hutchinson said it is a wake-up call, we need to maintain our vigilance and be careful.

The governor said we have to protect ourselves and others.

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