Increase in Coronavirus tests leads to biggest jump in positive cases

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark – As of Sunday afternoon 165 people tested positive for the Coronavirus in the state of Arkansas. Governor Asa Hutchinson and healthcare officials held a press conference to announce the new numbers and talk about the increase in testing across the state.

There were 47 new cases of Covid-19 in just 24 hours.

“This is the largest increase but it’s reflected also by the fact that we’ve had our largest number of tests done,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Just two weeks ago, the Arkansas Department of Health could only test five to ten people per day.

“Yesterday they did 139 tests,” Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said.

Even with the increase, these kits are still in short supply.

“There are a number of folks out there who want testing who have not been able to get it and they’re frustrated by it,” Dr. Smith said.

Right now, the health department can only give tests to people they call top priority.

“Hospitalized patients, healthcare workers, those who are over 65 with underlying conditions and have symptoms as well as those who have been identified by their physicians as having special situations that need priorities,” Smith said.

As the number of tests continues to grow, so does another expectation.

“I expect the positive cases to continue to increase as well,” Gov. Hutchinson said.

Even still this is just beginning, in a pandemic that has everyone bracing.

“We have a wave that is coming towards us. We don’t know how high this wave will crest, how long it will take to pass but we are preparing for that wave,” UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said.

UAMS announced they will be testing patients for Covid-19 starting Monday. They will focus on their own patients and healthcare workers.

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