UPDATE 4/6: Health officials in Arkansas confirmed a total of 875 positive COVID-19 cases Monday afternoon. The death total remained the same at 16.
UPDATE 4/5: Health officials in Arkansas confirmed a total of 853 positive COVID-19 cases Sunday morning. The death total has risen to 16.
UPDATE: Governor Asa Hutchinson said Saturday afternoon that the number of confirmed cases has jumped to 743, including two additional deaths that bring the death total to 14.
Governor Hutchinson noted that this was also an economic crisis in addition to a health crisis, with 66,000 Arkansans filing for unemployment and 8,000 of those having been approved.
Hutchinson also announced a new executive order permitting recreational travelers from out-of-state using Arkansas commercial lodging and short term rentals.
FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — UPDATE: Governor Asa Hutchinson on Friday said there are 704 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas and no additional deaths since his last update at Thursday’s press conference.
The state’s death toll remains at 12.
The majority of the deaths have occurred in central Arkansas, 6. There have been three deaths in Northwest Arkansas, two in Northeast Arkansas, and one unknown, according to ADH Secretary Dr. Nate Smith.
There have been 60 recoveries from COVID-19 in Arkansas.
The 704 cases are a 61-case jump from Thursday. Of those, 71 are hospitalized (up by 5) and 26 are on ventilators (up by 3).
Governor Hutchinson said the state has performed nearly 10,000 tests and 7.3 percent have returned positive.
“Our testing continues to increase here in Arkansas,” he said.
The governor said the test numbers are “more than sufficient to get a handle on where we are in Arkansas.”
Hutchinson and Smith responded to a question about a statement from Dr. Anthony Fauci on CNN on Friday, who said “I don’t understand why that’s not happening” in reference to states like Arkansas that have not issued stay-at-home orders.
“As we all know, Dr. Fauci is an outstanding scientist. I think what Dr. Fauci has been saying on behalf of our country should be listened to,” said Smith. “When it comes specifically to what we should be doing in Arkansas, I would love if Dr. Fauci had the time and energy to come down and we could go through our numbers together.”
The ADH secretary said those numbers show Arkansas is doing at least as well as any other state.
“I certainly would not dispute anything that Dr. Fauci said about the country as a whole, but I don’t think he was specifically talking about Arkansas,” Smith said.