LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced 1079 new cases and 23 additional deaths due to COVID-19 in Arkansas on Wednesday, October 14.
There are now 8007 cases statewide considered active by the Arkansas Department of Health.
There have been 127,432 PCR tests this month and 14,729 antigen tests.
A total of 81,819 people in Arkansas have recovered. Since March, there have been a total of 90,235 cases.
The statewide death toll due to COVID-19 is now 1634.
A total of 587 (-18) people are hospitalized and 113 (+3) are on ventilators.
The top counties reporting new cases today include:
- Craighead – 66
- Pulaski – 56
- Benton – 42
- Washington – 42
- Boone – 26
Arkansas has received the rapid COVID-19 tests kits promised to the Natural State by the White House.
Hutchinson announced so far the state has received 100,000 Abbott Binax-Now rapid antigen tests.
50,000 tests are expected to be received in Arkansas each week.
They’ll be utilized in schools, health care facilities, specific human development centers, and within the department of corrections.
“This is how simple it is. You have a swab, you have the kit which is a card and that will be mixed with some re-agent, but this is how simple of a test this is with the results coming back within 15 minutes,” Hutchinson said.
“Identifying individuals quickly and removing them from the environment so that they are no longer infecting other individuals and so that we can begin contact tracing as soon as we have this information,” Sec. of Health Dr. Jose Romero said.
Another brand of antigen tests, BD Veritor, are already available at local department of health offices.
Hutchinson said long-term care facilities have a direct supply of antigen tests.
The Arkansas Dept. of Education is already narrowing down which school districts will receive the rapid antigen test kits.
Education Secretary Johnny Key said red-zone districts, as classified by ACHI’s weekly data will be prioritized. As will districts that have already had to make on-site modifications like switching from in-person to virtual learning, and those with a high number of positive cases.
“Districts must have at least one person on staff that is trained to administer the tests agree to file both the positive and the negative results through the electronic system the ADH has provided,” Key said.
Key said the Dept. of Education hopes to have identified which districts will be receiving these tests by Monday, October 19.
Screening begin Monday, November 2.
You can learn more about the state’s response to the novel coronavirus at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.