Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 121 additional COVID-19 cases today at his daily press conference, bringing the total number to 4,164. Of this total, 849 are active cases and 3,220 are considered recovered. The number of deaths related to the virus is at 95.
There are currently 59 individuals hospitalized with 12 on a ventilator. In terms of nursing homes, 50 across the state have at least one active COVID-19 case. 299 nursing home residents and 174 staff members have tested positive for the virus.
Nine hundred inmates and 60 staff members at the Cummins Unit have tested positive for the virus. There is no new information about the Forrest City Federal Correctional Institute.
However, Hutchinson noted the increase in community cases in St. Francis County, which is where Forrest City is located. 100 of the additional 121 cases today are from the community. At least 27 of the community cases are in St. Francis County. “That’s something we are watching very closely,” he said.
Secretary of Health Dr. Smith also expressed concern about St. Francis County.
“We have not just the FCI with the inmates, but also workers there, many of whom have not been tested. I would encourage those who work at the FCI, there, to get tested either by their private physicians or one of these community testing events,” Smith said. “We will be doing testing shortly in our local health units so there will be available options, but it is important for those who work at the FCI, both for their safety and safety of their families, to come forward and get tested.”
Hutchinson commented on Dr. Anthony Fauci’s earlier testimony today in front of the Senate health committee in terms of Fauci’s concern “that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks.”
“Let me just say that we continue in Arkansas to follow CDC guidelines, to take them seriously, and we are working hard to make sure those little spikes that we see do not become outbreaks or a resurgence,” Hutchinson said. He later added that the state is continuing to increase testing, contact tracing and social distancing in effort to prevent the spikes from becoming outbreaks.