State officials are planning to test every nursing home resident and staff member at facilities in June.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the plans to increase testing during the daily press conference on Tuesday, May 19. According to Hutchinson, the state is expected to perform 40,000 to 50,000 individuals as part of the June plan.
“This additional testing will better protect our nursing home residents. It will protect our staff, and it will give confidence to our staff, our residents that we’re doing everything we can to make sure that there’s no spread, no contagion in these facilities,” Hutchinson said.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health’s website, there have been 87,614 tests performed in Arkansas since the beginning of the public health emergency. Hutchinson previously announced that the state is working to perform 60,000 COVID-19 tests during May.
Based on the number available through May 17, Arkansas has managed an average of 2,108 tests per day. On May 18, state officials reported a total of 35,839 tests through May 17. The average per day equals roughly 2,108. Assuming this rate is maintained, there would be 63,245 tests over the course of 30 days in June, and an additional 40,000 tests would equal 166,490 tests.
“If you add to that, of course, our routine testing, you’re going to see a very large number of tests next month here in Arkansas,” Hutchinson said.
According to the Arkansas Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nathaniel Smith, there have been 325 nursing home residents and 189 staff members who have been infected with COVID-19 to date. He said that there are 83 active cases in Arkansas nursing homes.