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Coronavirus in Arkansas: Governor announces largest increase in community spread with 669 cases

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — As of Friday afternoon, there are 18,740 total COVID-19 cases and 249 deaths in the state, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

That is an increase of 678 cases and seven deaths since Thursday.

Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said of the new cases nine are in correctional facilities and 669 are in the community.

Governor Hutchinson says Friday is the largest increase in community spread.

According to Smith, there are 5,707 active cases.

The governor said the counties with the largest amount of new cases are Washington County (122), Pulaski County (84), Benton County (68), Sebastian County (33), Faulkner County (31), Crittenden County (26), and Pope County (22). The rest of the counties have fewer than 20 cases.

Dr. Smith said out of the 5,707 active cases, 108 are in nursing homes, 621 are in correctional facilities and 4,978 are community cases.

There were 22 health care workers who tested positive since Thursday.

Officials say, there are no new hospitalizations.

Dr. Smith said 63 people are on a ventilator in Arkansas due to the virus, which is three less than yesterday.

Officials say 6,897 people tested yesterday bringing the total testing to 148,380 for the month of June.

Governor Hutchinson showed where people are in the hospital across the state of Arkansas with COVID-19.

  • Northwest Arkansas there are 123, 43%
  • Central Arkansas there are 105, 37%
  • Southwest Arkansas there are 23, 8%
  • Northeast Arkansas there are 28, 9%
  • Southeast Arkansas there are 5, 1%

Governor Hutchinson also showed those in the ICU.

  • Northwest Arkansas there are 58, 44%
  • Central Arkansas there are 43, 33%
  • Southwest Arkansas there are 18, 13%
  • Northeast Arkansas there are 2, 1%
  • Southeast Arkanas there are 9, 6%

Who is going where that has COVID-19?

  • Restaurants – 2%
  • Barber – .6%
  • Church – 2%
  • Daycare – .3%
  • Gym – .3%

Governor Hutchinson said there are quite a few churches that have cases. Some have temporarily stopped worshiping to prevent the spread. The state has seen some churches who are not implementing the guidelines set forth by the Arkansas Department of Health. Governor Hutchinson said he will not regulate what churches do, he will just make suggestions as to what is best for church-goers.

Dr. Nate Smith with the Arkansas Department of Health said: “In the settings where we’ve identified these clusters, those places of worship have either temporarily stopped meeting, stopped having services, or we’ve worked with them to implement those guidelines effectively.”

The proclamation of Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. for the City of Little Rock is supportive of the state directives. The Governor fully supports it and it’s consistent with the guidelines.

Questions were asked about if the Governor would consider rolling back restrictions as Florida and Texas have done.

“If the data showed that we are having outbreaks as a result of bars not following guidelines and resulted in positive cases that demonstrate a problem then certainly we would take action, but that has not been the case. In today’s review, it’s actually very timely based on what’s happening in some other state, but we will follow that,” said Governor Hutchinson.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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