Arkansas coronavirus cases reaches 218, total of 2 deaths confirmed

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks Tuesday during his daily coronavirus briefing

The number of positive coronavirus cases in Arkansas has reached 218, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in his daily COVID-19 briefing on Tuesday.

The governor also confirmed the deaths of two Arkansas residents as a result of the COVID-19 illness.

Of the two deaths, one person was in their 50s, and the other was over the age of 80, said Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of Health. Smith said both deaths were from central Arkansas, but neither individual was a nursing home patient.

Of the total cases, 11 are children, 73 are over the age of 65, and 134 are between the ages of 19 and 64. Fourteen of those patients are hospitalized, six are on ventilators, and 10 have recovered, Smith said.

The governor was asked for a response to President Trump’s comments from earlier today that he wants to see the country “opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Hutchinson said he hadn’t yet heard the president’s comments, but said Trump was likely “speaking in a hopeful way.”

Hutchinson said while he’d also like to see things get back to normal sooner than later, he believes the outbreak is still on the low end of an upswing, and that more cases and more disruptions are coming.

“I think this is the calm before the storm,” said Hutchinson.