LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced the largest single-day increase of new cases in Arkansas in addition to commenting on the new CDC guidance regarding quarantine.
Governor Hutchinson announced an increase of 2,789 new cases, the largest during the COVID-19 pandemic.
33 additional deaths were reported in the last 24 hours. Hospitalizations decreased by 16.
Around 13,000 PCR tests were reported along with 2,945 antigen tests.
Washington, Benton and Pulaski all reported over 200 new cases. 32 counties in Arkansas have over 20 new cases.
“Wherever you are in the state of Arkansas, there are an increased number of COVID cases, increased level of spread, and you have to protect yourself, wear your mask and keep your distance,” Governor Hutchinson says.
Hutchinson also commented on the new CDC quarantine guidance that Arkansas will implement. In the updated guidance, quarantine can last 7-10 days depending on testing and showing symptoms.
Secretary of Health Jose Romero says cases will still get worse.
He said the only way to help slow the growth in new cases is if everyone does their part.
“There is still time to slow the spread, but we must do our share. This is a public responsibility,” he said. “This is not the responsibility of a single person or single organization.”
He said now is the time to be more diligent with mask wearing and social distancing.
Poultry workers could be some of the first people to get a COVID-19 vaccine.
Healthcare workers and people in long-term care facilities will be the top priority when a vaccine is available but Romero said poultry workers could be next-up after that.
“We view these workers as essential. We know these workers have been the brunt of large outbreaks not only in our state, but also in other states. We have a moral and ethical imperative to care for all populations within our country,” he said.
Romero said their status as high-risk of infection will make them a priority.