Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced at Thursday afternoon’s statewide COVID-19 briefing that positive cases in Arkansas have gone up 71 since Wednesday to 1,094. Hutchinson also said there were 73 hospitalizations since Wednesday.
Also during the briefing, the governor provided a variety of charts showing the state’s actual coronavirus statistics against projections and other comparisons.
For example, Hutchinson noted hospital bed use due to coronavirus-related illnesses in the state is steady and lower than projections predicted for this time of April from a University of Washington study. (See below.)
The governor also presented charts of Arkansas’s COVID-19 stats in comparison with the fellow states that belong to the Southeastern Conference, or SEC.
Below are hospitalizations per 100,000 for SEC states:
Below is SEC state-by-state comparison on a map.
Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, director of the Arkansas Department of Health, both stressed the importance of continued social distancing and adherence to CDC guidelines in helping keep the number of positive cases low. The two also recommended to try and keep any necessary travel in-state only.
Officials also stressed the importance of maintaining one’s mental health during the crisis, and to check on loved ones during this period. Paula Stone, with the Department of Human Services, said counseling services are available. To help find a provider, call DHS at (844) 763-0198, Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
And when asked what signs state officials need to see before considering a gradual reopening, Hutchinson said they’ll need to have confidence the state has reached its peak. He said Arkansas isn’t there yet because there is still growth in positive cases, but once active cases begin to decline, then the governor said a peak may soon occur.
According to the University of Washington projections, Arkansas’s peak is predicted to be around April 24.
In other news from the briefing:
- Hutchinson gave thanks to all of the employees of Arkansas Workforce Services. The governor said the AWS staff is manning phones, meeting with clients, and helping process the heavy amount of claims.
- In terms of health care workers, the total number of positive cases is 158.
- One new county was added to the list of those with positive cases: Madison County.
- No new information has been reported at the Forrest City Federal Correction Facility, where at last count, there were a total of 24 inmates who have tested positive along with five staff members. Officials from the CDC are on the scene.
- And, over 253 COVID-19 cases have recovered in the state — up 45 since Wednesday.
The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin, state Sen. Stu Smith, and state Sen. James Sturch. Download the free White River Now mobile app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.
We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air at Arkansas 103.3, online at White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the Arkansas 103.3 stream on the White River Now mobile app on Arkansas 103.3.
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