The state of Arkansas has reached a cumulative number of 45,381 COVID-19 cases with 784 new cases today (Aug. 4).
Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported at his daily press conference that Pulaski County had the highest number of new cases with 149. Sebastian County followed behind with 56, Mississippi County had 55, Washington County had 45, Benton County had 35, Saline County had 25, Crittenden County had 24 and Jefferson County had 23. The rest are fewer than 20.
The number of hospitalizations has increased by 13 to 526. There are 101 patients on a ventilator, down seven from yesterday.
“This increase is reflecting the increase in cases from some time ago when we were at a higher level than we are now,” Hutchinson said. “We hope the fact that we’ve been flat for some time will reflect a decrease in that hospitalization over time, but we will see from that.”
Furthermore, the number of deaths has increased by 15 to 490 with three of those being late reports from July. Acting Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero pointed out that the deaths related to the virus is “distributed fairly evenly around the state so we’re not seeing a big spike in one area.”
“COVID is community-wide, state-wide,” he said. “What it’s telling us is that we need to mitigate this statewide. It’s not just a single issue in one particular county or one region.”
There are now 38,000 recoveries and 6,891 active cases with 6,310 in the community, 393 in correctional facilities and 88 in nursing homes.
In terms of testing, 5,840 COVID-19 tests were completed across the state. Since the beginning of August, there have been 18,001.
Both state officials discussed the increased testing efforts by the Arkansas Department of Health as commercial labs still experience delays over the past few weeks. Within the past 24 hours, the department completed its largest number of COVID-19 tests at 2,212.
Part of the increased testing at the Arkansas Department of Health is due to the multiple high throughput testing machines it has acquired.
“We have two currently online and a third has been assembled,” Romero told Arkansas Money & Politics after the press conference. “We have a fourth that is still packaged and trying to find space for.”