There are 595 additional COVID-19 cases in the state, bringing the cumulative number of cases in Arkansas to 16,678.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson provided an update at his daily press conference today (June 23) from Mountain Home. Of the new 595 cases, 212 are in correctional facilities and 303 are in the community.
The number of hospitalizations and related deaths have increased as well. There are 248 hospitalizations, up 11 from yesterday, with 57 patients on a ventilator. There are 237 related deaths, up 10 from yesterday.
“These are challenging numbers that you see that continue to challenge our state that we have to continue to work hard to address and we continue to do that,” Hutchinson said.
The state is continuing to increase testing and contact tracing efforts as part of its strategy, however Hutchinson noted the importance for individuals to social distance and discipline themselves.
“Yesterday, we met our statewide goal for testing of 120,000 tests during the month of June,” said Hutchinson. “We’ve done that. We continue to test and in the last 24 hours, we conducted 5,344 tests.”
According to Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith, there are 5,221 active COVID-19 cases with 4,339 in the community, 779 in correctional facilities and 103 in nursing homes. There are 427 new recovered cases, bringing the total number of recoveries from the virus to 11,220.
The two correctional facilities that are seeing a major increase in positive cases are the Benton County Jail and Ouachita River Correctional Unit. So far, 188 inmates and 13 staff members have tested positive for the virus in Benton County Jail. There have been 128 positive cases in the Ouachita River Correctional Unit.
Northwest Arkansas has seen the most significant increases in the number of new cases since mid-May. Smith said there have been 6,366 COVID-19 cases in the region with 2,452 still considered active. There have been 49 related deaths in Northwest Arkansas, and 24 percent of the total cases are among poultry workers.
Smith also reminded Arkansans to physically distance and wear masks to limit the spread of COVID-19.
“In settings, though, where that is not occurring — where the physical distancing is not there, where people are not wearing masks — we’ve seen very explosive spreads of COVID-19 particularly in congregate settings but in other community settings as well, so it is very important for us each to do our part and not only to take those measures ourselves, but also to remind one another,” said Smith.