Case update: Coronavirus cases in Arkansas increase by 887, deaths up 22

The number of positive COVID-19 cases in of Arkansas increased by 887 on Friday, bringing the total in the state to 55,652 since the pandemic began. There were 22 deaths since yesterday, the largest single-day increase, bringing the toll to 663.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the numbers during his coronavirus press briefing at the Governor’s Mansion in Little Rock.

The governor said 6,396 tests were conducted in the past 24 hours. The state has so far reported 122,734 tests in August to put toward the goal of conducting 180,000 tests this month.

Of the new cases announced on Friday, 59 came from correctional facilities, with 828 considered active in the community.

Hospitalizations increased by 10 to 509, and the number of Arkansans on ventilators increased by 12 for a total of 120.

The top counties for new cases on Friday were Pulaski (80), Washington (57), Benton (47), Sebastian (38), Pope (33), Stone (30), Faulkner (29), Loanoke (25), Craighead (24), Crawford (23), Crittenden (22), Sevier (21), Garland (20), Independence (20) and Poinsett (20).

The number of active cases in the state reached 5,854, and 49,135 Arkansans are considered to have recovered.

Hutchinson blamed the latest increases in cases today on smaller gatherings that have recently taken place.

“We’ve had a number of clusters from group gatherings,” he said. “They are not associated with schools. They are associated with other activities that go on in the routine of life.

“But that is not smart,” Hutchinson pounded the podium in emphasis. “It is not good, and it leads to cases and that leads to death. And so we have to be mindful of this. We are not back to normal. We have more work to be done.”