State still needs to expand testing capabilities

Local News

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Now that Arkansas has a target date for slowly opening the economy back up, the state will still need to be able to expand its testing capabilities.

Dr. Nate Smith pointed out that today was Arkansas’ lowest uptick in general public cases since early on 117 of the new 142 cases were related to the prisons in Arkansas.

The Governor would like to be able to expand testing to include more surveillance testing to make sure they have a broader idea of how the situation evolves in Arkansas.

Officials say they are training 120 more workers to conduct tracing and the state has averaged around 1,000 tests per day and had 890 results come back yesterday, but again that will have to increase and broaden once the state begins loosening up restrictions.

“And we see that to work increasing the number of cases are for the other statistics there’s not to go in the right direction we have to do that, but we hope that we will be able to stick with the past the trajectory of loosening some of these restrictions and getting life back to normal, but it’s going to be a long process to get there,” said Governor Hutchinson.

The prison system, of course, being hit hard by COVID-19. 117 positive cases came back yesterday and there are about 250 more results pending from the Cummins Unit.

Dr. Smith says that prisons are the best and worst places to deal with an outbreak. It’s easier to spread within those confines, but also easier to contain as well and they will continue testing there until there is no need as there are some external barracks that haven’t been exposed to the infected ones.

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