LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced 1,331 new cases and 43 additional deaths due to COVID-19 in Arkansas at his weekly press conference on Tuesday, January 19 in Little Rock.
The state’s death toll now stands at 3,621.
There are currently 1,265 (+2) patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Arkansas, the governor said, including 209 (-7) individuals on ventilators.
With 2,271 additional Arkansans now considered recovered from the virus, active cases are down by a net 1854 to 20,940, Hutchinson said.
The top counties reporting new cases on Tuesday include:
- Pulaski – 268
- Benton – 132
- Washington – 118
- Faulkner – 85
- Sebastian – 70
The state reported 6,074 PCR and 2,281 antigen test results received yesterday.
Arkansas is testing for a unique, more contagious variant of coronavirus from Great Britian.
Ten states have reported cases of this virus but so far it’s not been found in Arkansas.
State health officials are waiting on eight virus specimens from Arkansas that might be the new strain to be tested by the CDC. Romero said he is planning for its eventual arrival.
“The virus will eventually get here. It’s just a matter of time. What the CDC predicts, is that by March, this will be the predominant virus in the United States,” he said.
Dr. Romero said this virus is 50% to 70% more transmissible than the current coronavirus in our state.
He anticipates it causing a spike in cases and an even greater need for vaccines.
He said the current vaccine is effective against the new strain.
Arkansas is rolling out a new resource for families struggling with remote learning.
The Statewide Community Portal will connect people with suppoty in their community for things like food, clothing, and physical and mental health.
So far there are more than 50 support categories in the portal.
“This list will continue to grow. As we get more community organizations that say, ‘I have something I can contribute to this,’ they will be able to partner with us to get their resource listed,” State Sec. os Education Johnny Key said.
Key said this portal will be open even after the pandemic.
You can watch the full press conference from Tuesday, January 19 below: