Although Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported a relatively low increase in new COVID-19 cases at his press conference today (July 7), he also reported a record number of hospitalizations in a single day.
The state has 259 new confirmed cases with 23 in correctional facilities and 236 in the community, bringing the cumulative number to 24,512. The number of hospitalizations are now at 369, up 32 from yesterday, with 83 patients on a ventilator. The number of deaths has increased by nine to 301.
According to Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith, there were 3,366 tests completed yesterday across the state. He attributed the decline in specimen collection for testing over the past two days due to the holiday weekend.
The state has 5,486 active COVID-19 cases with 5,096 in the community, 273 in correctional facilities and 117 in nursing homes
“We did have a decrease in our active cases because we had 891 recover from yesterday which is more than the ones we added, so our total [number of individuals] recovered is 18,725,” Smith said.
Pulaski County had the most number of new cases with 57 and Benton County had 26. All other counties had less than 20 new cases including Washington County with 14.
Smith noted that those three counties have the highest cumulative number of cases in Arkansas.
Washington County has the most cumulative number of cases with approximately 4,000 to 4,500 cases following Benton County with approximately 3,000 to 3,500 cases. Pulaski County has nearly reached 2,500 cumulative cases.
While the number of cumulative cases in Washington and Benton counties “rose steeply” at the beginning of mid-May, they have both “plateaued out.”
Smith said, “We’re seeing a decreasing number of new cases each day. That’s a good sign and suggests we’re getting over the hump with dramatic uptake that we’ve seen in those two counties.”
He expressed concern over the rise in cumulative cases in Pulaski County.
“[Pulaski County] is lower than Benton and Washington [counties] at this point, but it’s still going up,” Smith said. “It’s not flattening out, so that’s where I’m concerned about what’s going on…we’ve got several other counties below that. Some of them are rising faster than others, but they are all much lower in terms of total case counts.”