Coronavirus in AR.: Hutchinson announces 100 antigen testing machines received

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LITTLE ROCK, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Monday afternoon Arkansas received 100 new antigen testing machines.

Governor Hutchinson said we do not have the testing kits to be able to process tests yet.

The machines will be given to the public health units, according to Gov. Hutchinson.

The governor said there will be a priority for these machines will be for the K-12 educational system.

As of Monday afternoon, there are 44,597 total COVID-19 cases and 475 deaths in the state, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson. That is an increase of 787 new cases and 11 deaths since Sunday.

The governor said the counties with the most new cases are Sebastian County (87), Washington County (66), Pulaski County (54), Benton County (42), Logan County (37), Independence County (32), Garland County (29), Crittenden County (28), Jefferson County (25) and Mississippi County (22).

On Saturday, there were 662 new cases.

On Sunday, there were 637 new cases.

Hutchinson said the northeast part of the state is seeing an increase of cases.

Governor Hutchinson said there are currently 513 hospitalizations due to the virus in Arkansas, which is a decrease of two.

Interim Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said there are 108 people on ventilators in Arkansas due to the coronavirus, an increase of two.

According to state officials, 6,357 tests were completed on Sunday.

Hutchinson announced the testing goal for August is 200,000 tests- 190,000 PCR tests and 10,000 antigen tests. That’s greater than six percent of the population.

The governor said on Saturday, Vice President Mike Pence called and asked what was needed in Arkansas. Hutchinson said we need quicker tests from commercial labs.

The governor said Monday it has been two weeks since we’ve had a mask mandate in the state.

Dr. Romero said the flu vaccine is offered starting this time of the year and urged Arkansans to get the shot.

Romero said getting the flu shot will help the strain on the hospitals because each year, people are hospitalized and placed on ventilators due to the flu.

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