Governor Hutchinson releases recommendations on COVID-19 testing that Arkansas will follow

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Just a couple days ago the Governor created an advisory board for testing in Arkansas. Today they released some recommendations that Arkansas will follow.

“This is very informative as to where we are in our testing reality in Arkansas,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Arkansas has seen testing fall off slightly in recent days after peaking around 1,600. Governor Hutchinson hopes to get back to that level soon.

“This expansion will be accomplished by more fully utilizing the testing inventory of our hospitals and commercial labs that is already present with them,” said Governor Hutchinson.

An expansion in testing is just one of the recommendations. Expanded contact testing is also a priority.

“We need to know we need to know if the people have symptoms of COVID-19, we need to have that answer not only for their benefit but for also us to know as a state,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Officials say that getting numbers higher just for the sake of it is not the purpose of this push.

“It’s using our testing capacity strategically, the purpose of testing is to identify people who are infected, to stop the spread of COVID-19, and ultimately to save lives,” said Governor Hutchinson.

An expanded targeted response for those so Arkansas can have as much data as possible when moving forward.

“I would strongly urge everybody to have the expectation that if you need to be tested and you asked to be tested, then you’re going to be tested,” said Governor Hutchinson.

The Governor wants to see the push over the next two days. Also on that list of recommendations is expanded testing high-risk areas. Some of which is already taking place with those elective surgeries and also expanded antibody testing, which UAMS is helping to develop as many of those tests currently are not very reliable.

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