The state of Arkansas had the largest number of community COVID-19 cases in a single-day today (June 19) with the majority being in the northwest region.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 703 new COVID-19 cases at his daily press conference with 41 in correctional facilities and 662 in the community. The cumulative total number of cases is 14,631.
The number of hospitalizations and related deaths have also increased. There are 231 hospitalizations, five more than yesterday, with 57 patients on ventilators. There have been six more deaths, bringing the total number of related deaths to 214.
Since June 1, the state of Arkansas has conducted 92,275 COVID-19 tests. State officials are expecting to exceed their goal of 120,000 tests for the month of June.
Washington County had 136 new cases, Benton County had 112, Pulaski County had 53, Sevier County had 44, Sebastian County had 26, Faulkner County had 22 and Yell County had 21. The other counties had less than 20 new cases.
Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith noted there are 4,705 active cases with 3,892 in the community, 675 in correctional facilities and 138 in nursing homes. There are 9,712 individuals who have recovered from the virus, up 336 from yesterday.
“When we’re looking at our spike of over 700 cases today, we look back and see last friday we also have had a spike of over 700 cases,” Smith said. “I don’t have enough information on those to tell you exactly where each of those individuals acquired the infection, how it was transmitted. But when you see weekly patterns like that and you go back the five or six days of the average incubation period, at least there is a suggestion that what’s happening on the weekend is having some bearing there.”
Smith reminded people to not let their guard down on the weekend when attending large venues, social distancing and wearing masks.
Officials with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are currently in Northwest Arkansas and indicated that they will be there for the next two weeks.
“They are mapping those transmission networks, so we can get a better idea of how to interrupt those chains of transmission,” Smith said. “They are able to do a deeper level of analysis than we’re able to do in real time as we’re doing our contact tracing and we expect that to be very valuable to us.”