Governor says data shows state’s approach to COVID-19 is working

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the state’s targeted approach to COVID-19 is working, and he has the data to prove it.

Hutchinson presented three graphs on Tuesday during his daily coronavirus briefing.

The illustrations compare Arkansas’s virus statistics with the surrounding states. While pointing to the charts, he said Arkansas has 31.8 cases per 100,000 people, compared to 35.4 in Oklahoma, 28.9 in Texas, 39.5 in Missouri, 59.9 in Tennessee, 58.6 in Mississippi, and 327.9 in Louisiana.

Source: State of Arkansas

“This is a good measuring stick as to how we compare to our surrounding states,” said Hutchinson, adding that the low number shouldn’t be written off because people think there aren’t enough tests being performed.

He said 1,436 tests were received in the last 24 hours, which is so far the most received across the state in a single day.

“Of course, people will say “Well, that’s just reflective of the number of tests you do and what you know about those tests,'” said Hutchinson. “But…Arkansas ranks about in the middle.”

He said Arkansas has tested 454.9 people per 100,000 residents, compared to 73.3 in Oklahoma, 339 in Texas, 492.2 in Missouri, 746.1 in Tennessee, 686.5 in Mississippi, and 1,525.7 in Louisiana.

Source: State of Arkansas

The governor also presented data showing that Arkansas has the smallest amount of hospitalizations per 100,000 people at 2.5. That’s compared to 9.1 in Oklahoma, 3.3 in Texas, 7.1 in Missouri, 5.5 in Tennessee, 11.3 in Mississippi, and 39.9 in Louisiana.

“I share this because it should be an encouragement to the people of Arkansas that our targeted approach is working,” he said. “What you’re doing in terms of social distancing, wearing a mask, and not having large gatherings…that make’s a difference.”

Source: State of Arkansas

After Hutchinson spoke, Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith gave an overall case update.

Smith said the number of positive COVID-19 cases in Arkansas had increased to 946 as of Tuesday afternoon. That’s an increase of 71 cases since Monday.

The state now has 67 counties with infected patients after adding Logan County and Clay County to the list overnight.

Of the 946 cases, 134 are healthcare workers, 61 are nursing home patients, 74 are currently hospitalized, and 26 are on ventilators. Twenty-one patients are children, 688 are adults age 18-64, and 237 are age 65 or older.

Two more patients died from the illness, Smith said, bringing the death toll to 18 as of Tuesday. He said 50 people had recovered since Monday, for a total of 152 recoveries.