LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday afternoon there are an additional 486 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 112 probable cases.
The 486 confirmed COVID-19 cases are positive PCR tests.
The 112 probable cases are due to 112 positive antigen tests.
State epidemiologist Dr. Jennifer Dillaha said the counties with the most new cases are Pulaski County (80), Benton County (55), Craighead County (30), Sebastian County (28) and Washington County (26).
According to Governor Hutchinson, there are 74,772 cumulative COVID-19 cases in Arkansas.
The governor announced on Tuesday an additional 12 people have died in Arkansas due to COVID-19, bringing the confirmed COVID-19 death toll in Arkansas to 1,060.
Dr. Dillaha said one of the deaths announced Tuesday was from a nursing home.
Hutchinson said as of Tuesday, there are 459 people hospitalized in Arkansas due to the coronavirus, which is an increase of 12.
According to Dr. Dillaha, there are 88 people on ventilators in Arkansas due to COVID-19, which is a decrease of nine.
Dr. Dillaha said 67,519 people have recovered from the virus.
The governor said there were 6,810 PCR tests completed on Monday.
This month’s goal for PCR tests is 180,000. According to state officials, 167,704 PCR tests have been completed so far this month.
According to Governor Hutchinson, 651 antigen tests were completed Monday.
State officials say 13,863 antigen tests have been completed so far.
According to state officials, the cumulative positivity rate is 8.3%.
A White House Task Force report shows Arkansas is fourth in the country for the rate of new cases. Governor Hutchinson said that’s too high in weekly growth of cases.
The recommendation by the White House is to strengthen compliance efforts and enforcement of plans for events.
The governor said since the beginning of the pandemic, the state has done 2,067 inspections. According to Governor Hutchinson, 90% are in compliance and 173 violations have been given out.
Hutchinson spoke about the future in Tuesday’s news briefing, saying he wants everyone in Arkansas to be prepared and we are going to be living with COVID-19 for some time.
The governor announced the state’s winter strategy on Tuesday. Governor Hutchinson said the strategy is to increase flu shot participation, a goal set to perform 1,000,000 PCR COVID-19 tests by October 20, increase consistency of state contact tracing, emphasize continued wearing of masks and social distancing and to not grow weary.
Dr. Dillaha said half of the people who get the flu shot will not get the flu at all. According to Dillaha, the other half will have milder symptoms. Dillaha says it “goes a long way” for keeping people out of the hospital, which is important during a pandemic.
Education Commissioner Johnny Key said Tuesday marks the middle of the fifth week of school. According to Key, 106 schools had to modify operations. Key said 83 of the 106 schools are back to normal.
Secretary of the Arkansas Department of Corrections Solomon Graves said Tuesday there are 379 active cases in the prison system, with seven being treated at an outside hospital.
Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston said Tuesday to date, the state has paid out over $47 million to Arkansans.
Preston announced those who are on regular unemployment and are unemployed because of COVID-19 from August 1 through the 22nd must recertify online by Friday.
Preston said 37,000 claims are from regular unemployment and 42,000 are from pandemic unemployment.
The governor announced Tuesday Halloween will not be cancelled.
At the beginning of the weekly briefing, Governor Hutchinson announced it is International Week of the Deaf. Four students from the Arkansas School for the Deaf signed about what they are doing to stay safe during the pandemic.
Hutchinson said he’s excited to hear the U.S. Supreme Court nominee. He said the president is doing his Constitutional responsibility by nominating someone. The governor said you have to take it a step at a time and there has to be proper vetting and time to do that. Governor Hutchinson said if that can be done, then it can be done before the election.
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