COVID-19 cases in Arkansas increase to 1,094, up 71 since Wednesday

Arkansas governor Asa Hutchinson addresses the media Thursday

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The number of positive COVID-19 cases in Arkansas has increased to 1,094, with 71 new confirmed cases since Wednesday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced in his daily briefing on Thursday.

Seventy-three patients are currently hospitalized with the virus, and three more people have died bringing the total number of deaths in the state to 21.

Hutchinson continued to provide data he says proves Arkansas’s approach to dealing with COVID-19 is working. The governor presented charts that showed the growth of the spread of the virus has slowed both statewide on a county-by-county basis.

Another graphic showed hospitalizations per 100,000 people in the state as compared to other states in the south, showing Arkansas with the lowest amount of hospitalizations per capita among the states shown.

“Arkansas is really showing that it is up to the task, that we are distancing, that we are following the guidelines, and as a result of that, our hospitalizations per 100,000 are less than the surrounding states and those other states and in the south,” he said.

Hutchinson urged Arkansans to continue doing what they are doing in regards to social distancing.

“As we approach this weekend, don’t take anything for granted, understand where we are, and the importance of not violating the limitations on social gatherings,” he said. “We don’t need to be out with 20 friends. It might be good weather, we need to restrain ourselves, we need to follow the guidelines, wear your mask if you can’t socially distance, protect yourself, and protect others.”

Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said moving forward, he will report on active cases, which is the number of total cases minus those that have recovered from the illness. As of now, there are currently 841 in Arkansas, he said, as 253 people have recovered from the virus thus far.

There was one new county reporting an active case of the virus, with Madison County reporting its first case.

Thirty-one patients are currently on a ventilator, Smith said, and 158 healthcare workers have tested positive for the virus, up 18 from yesterday.