As Arkansas enters Phase II as a whole state this week, it is still experiencing regional differences in terms of COVID-19 pandemic.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson provided a COVID-19 update at a press conference in Hot Springs today (June 16). Northwest Arkansas is still seeing the most number of new COVID-19 cases and currently also has the most hospitalizations.
When he showed the graph for the seven-day rolling average of new cases in Arkansas by region, Hutchinson said, “You can see that [Central Arkansas] had a spike here in April and that we have equaled that spike again [in June], but it’s flat. It has plateaued there for right now.”
Hospitalizations in central Arkansas have also increased since mid-May, climbing to approximately 40.
“You can see that it did go up to about 40 and that’s where it is now, so it’s stabilizing right at that level,” Hutchinson said. “[If] you think about 40 hospitalized for COVID-19 across the central region, we have much greater capacity than that.”
The seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 cases in central Arkansas have “gradually climbed back up, but not to the height that it was and here it’s at a manageable level of about 45 and it’s on a downward trend for the last day.”
Hutchinson provided a sample breakdown of the growth rate of new COVID-19 cases in central Arkansas by county between June 7 and June 13.
Faulkner County had the highest with nearly 35 percent followed by Grant County with approximately 28 percent. Next, Saline County had a 24 percent increase in new cases and Lonoke County had nearly 20 percent. Pulaski County had the second lowest increase with approximately 17 percent and Perry County had the lowest with a 7 percent increase.
Hutchinson previously mentioned that he expects the number of new COVID-19 cases to rise over the next week.