LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — The number of patients hospitalized with COVID-19 in Arkansas reached a new all-time high on Tuesday, Governor Asa Hutchinson announced during his weekly virus press conference.
There are currently 529 patients hospitalized with COVID-19 statewide, Hutchinson said. The previous high was 526 in early August.
An additional 22 individuals have died due to coronavirus in Arkansas, the governor said, raising the state’s death toll to 1321.
Hutchinson announced 532 new cases on Tuesday, raising the total to 84,203 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas since the onset of the pandemic.
The state performed 6157 PCR tests and 1059 antigen tests over the last 24 hours, he said.
You may be able to visit your loved ones in a long-term care facilitiy sooner than later.
Hutchinson announced the state’s long term care directive has been updated.
Long term care facilities like nursing homes can expand visitation if it meets a few new requirements.
One being free of new COVID-19 cases for two weeks.
It also mentions minimum visitation may occur for medical treatment or a compassionate care situation.
“Which could be mental depression, it could be the need to see a loved one, if they aren’t eating right, if they have disorders because of the lack of human touch that will justify that visitation of long term care facility,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson suggests you read the entire guideline before planning your visit.
State education leaders release a new plan to support students and families during this pandemic.
The new initiative is called Engage Arkansas.
The partnership includes the state’s office of education renewal zones and graduation alliance.
ERZ offices serve as a bridge between public school, higher education, and education service copperatives.
The goal is to identify students who may be struggling with virtual learning or may be disengaged and get them connected to the right resources.
Students will also have access to academic coaches and telehealth services through Graduation Alliance.
“We’re really excited for this oppurtunity because we know this is something that is going to benefit all students in all of our districts,” Deputy Comissioner Dr. Ivy Pfeffer said.
The state Department of Education will begin reaching out to school districts this week.
You can learn more about the state’s response to the novel coronavirus at https://www.healthy.arkansas.gov/programs-services/topics/novel-coronavirus.
Watch Governor Hutchinson’s weekly COVID-19 update in its entirety below: