Governor announces 3 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas, first case of “community transmission”

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — Governor Asa Hutchinson announced three new cases of coronavirus that have tested presumptive positive in Arkansas, including one of “unknown origin.”

Hutchinson said two of the patients are a couple who had been traveling, but the other is of “unknown origin” – the person had no known contact with an individual diagnosed with coronavirus. All three cases are in the same geographic area – Central Arkansas – as the previous cases.

Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott Jr. had previously announced the new community-transmission case at a press conference on Friday.

Dr. Cam Patterson, chancellor at UAMS, said this means there are likely more people in the community infected whom health officials do not know about. Patterson said this is not surprising, but should compel people to be more vigilant with handwashing.

“In order to put this in perspective, we have about 20 cases a day that are submitted to the Arkansas Department of Health for testing. Seventeen of those came back negative,” Hutchinson said. “Then we have the private sector as well, and we have three negative tests from LabCorp.”

Arkansas now has nine presumptive positive COVID-19 cases in the state. Each test will be sent to the Center for Disease Control (CDC) for final confirmation.

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