Gov. Hutchinson says it’s not a surprise for 5 new COVID-19 cases, and will now take extra steps

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – New measures are being taken in the natural state after 5 more presumptive positive cases of COVID-19 were announced by Governor Asa Hutchinson during a press conference Thursday. This brings the total to 6 presumptive positive cases in Arkansas.

Gov. Hutchinson hit a lot of key things the state will do in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 now that the state is seeing more cases.

Gov. Huntchinson said this isn’t a surprise and now it’s time to take extra steps.

“It is also a signal that we need to take additional steps and action,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

The latest cases are out of Pulaski, Jefferson, Saline and Grant Counties but health officials are not calling this a community spread.

Gov. Hutchinson did offer some advice.

“We go ahead and advise that the schools in those four county areas should be closed for the next two weeks,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

One of the cases is a medical student working Jefferson County Hospital who later rotated to Arkansas’s Children’s Hospital in Little Rock.

“Four of these new positive, presumptive positive cases were contact with the patient that we talked about yesterday,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

The other case was announced on Wednesday, health officials believe is from out of state travel.

Children’s hospital also said they are stepping up efforts to stop the spread.

Arkansas will receive over $6.2 million in federal money in efforts to help fight coronavirus.

The state said they will be teaming up with UAMS to step up testing capabilities. During the conference health officials said if you see COVID-19 symptoms don’t go to an emergency room or a crowded clinic. You can get health care on your mobile device now.

“If you go to UAMS health now on your i-phone, your tablet, or laptop, you will have the chance to interact visually, face-to-face with a UAMS healthcare provider 24 hours a day,” UAMS Chancellor, Dr. Cam Patterson said.

As of Thursday the positive tests have not been confirmed yet from the CDC. Health officials said none of the current ones are considered serious as of now.

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