HOPE, Ark. (KTAL/KMSS) – Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday afternoon that he has signed an executive orders extending the state’s emergency for another 60 days.
Hutchinson announced the extension during a media briefing in Hope, noting that it has been seven months since the pandemic began in early March.
The governor said there are 680 additional COVID-19 cases in Arkansas as of Tuesday afternoon, bringing the total statewide cases to 94,137. The new test results include 481 positive PCR tests, which are considered confirmed cases, and 199 positive antigen tests, which are considered probable cases.
State Epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said the counties with the highest number of new cases are Pulaski County (56), Benton County (44), Craighead County (32), Lonoke County (24) and Garland County (22).
According to Hutchinson, 24 additional people have died due to the coronavirus as of Tuesday afternoon, bringing the number of deaths among confirmed cases in Arkansas to 1,462.
According to Dr. Dillaha, five of the deaths announced Tuesday were in nursing homes.
The governor said hospitalizations in Arkansas due to the coronavirus dropped by three Tuesday to 605.
State officials say 5,909 PCR tests were completed Monday.
According to Dr. Dillaha, the state’s cumulative positivity rate is 7.6%.
State officials say the Arkansas Department of Health has inspected restaurants and have seen a 96% compliance rate.
Governor Hutchinson was asked about Leslie Rutledge not wearing masks in public pictures.
Hutchinson said he would let Rutledge answer, but it is important for leaders to follow the guidelines and set a good example.
You can watch the full news conference above.