COVID-19 in Arkansas: Cases jump by nearly 2,800 as spread continues to grow

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – The latest numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health show that a record number of new coronavirus cases have been added in the last 24 hours.

According to the updated figures, total cases in Arkansas jumped by 2,789 in the last day, putting the total number of COVID-19 cases in state since the beginning of the pandemic to 164,310.

Deaths continued to spike in Arkansas as well, with 33 more patients dying from the virus since Wednesday, driving the total number of deaths to 2,555.

Hospitals continue to feel the crush of the growing spread, with 1,072 patients hospitalized due to coronavirus on Thursday. While that number is down by 16 cases from the day before, the number of patients on ventilators grew by 4 to 190.

Three counties in Arkansas – Washington, Benton and Pulaski – all saw more than 200 new cases Thursday. In total, 32 counties in the state topped 20 new cases.

The governor also discussed the updates to guidelines from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding quarantine guidelines for those exposed to the COVID-19 positive patients.

While previous quarantine guidelines pushed for 14 days at home after exposure, officials are now allowing for shorter timelines with caveats for testing extra monitoring to look for symptoms.

The last 24 hours have seen another first in the state, with the first death of an Arkansas first responder from COVID-19, 62-year-old North Little Rock Police Sgt. JL “Buck” Dancy.

Thursday also saw the 14th member of the Arkansas state legislature, State Sen. Ron Caldwell, report a positive test for the disease.

Across the United States, Thursday marked a record for deaths tied to COVID-19, with the CDC reporting more than 3,100 deaths, as well as hospitalizations topping 100,000 and new cases going past 200,000 in a day.

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