LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The state of Arkansas added 385 new cases (66,406 cumulative) and 11 additional COVID-19 deaths (928 total) on Wednesday, September 9, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced at his daily press conference.
There are now 5,558 cases statewide considered active by the Arkansas Department of Health.
The top counties reporting new cases today include:
- Washington – 42
- Craighead – 32
- Pulaski – 31
- Benton – 24
- Jefferson – 23
Of the 12 deaths announced Wednesday, seven occurred in nursing homes, with two “small clusters” in Beebe and El Dorado, according to Dr. Jose Romero, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health.
The number of patients hospitalized with the virus in Arkansas rose to 411 (+2), including 82 (-2) patients on ventilators.
The governor noted that if you add the antigen tests to the PCR tests, the state’s daily total is 499 positive cases.
The state reported 5208 PCR tests over the last 24 hours.
Revenue is down 35% for Arkansas restaurants compared to this time last year.
Steuart Walton with the Economic Recovery Task Force gave an update today.
He said small businesses have been hit the hardest during this pandemic because they have fewer resources than larger companies.
He also said that data shows every time cases increase, economic activity drops.
“It just drives home the point that these crises are inextricably linked, the economic crisis and the health crisis, and to solve one we have to solve the other,” he said.
The Economic Recovery Task Force will present a progress report to the governor tomorrow.
Hutchinson announced a new partnership will increase the state’s COVID-19 testing capacity by 20%.
This partnership is with Baptist Health.
The state is providing them with testing equipment.
In return, Baptist Health will process 50% of the state’s tests.
Hutchinson said this will make the state less dependent on commercial labs.
“We needed to control our own destiny and for that reason we have invested in antigen testing equipment but also we have expanded our capacity and partnerships in terms of our own PCR testing,” he said.
Since the pandemic began, the Department of Health has increased its testing capacity from about 20 tests per day to over 3,000.
A total of 140 students are quarantined due to COVID-19 in schools.
The state announced 40 kids in the Pea Ridge School District are quarantined due to close contact with a COVID-19 patient.
Another 100 students in Harrison kindergarten classes are quarantined as well.
For more information on the state’s response to the novel coronavirus, visit https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.
Watch the full press conference from Wednesday, September 9 below: