Here are some Key Notes, Statistics, and Video for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s news update on the COVID-19 pandemic.
Governor Hutchinson welcomed Dr. Cam Patterson, Chancellor at UAMS and Dr. Nate Smith, State Secretary of Health. He then referred to several graphs including the number of daily COVID-19 cases.
Hutchinson revealed the four strategies recommended by the testing working group as follows:
- Expand PCR testing for all patients with symptoms consistent with covid-19 and those with a history of potential exposure.
- Expand PCR testing for contact investigations.
- Screen for covid-19 in high-risk settings.
- Develop a strategy for statewide serosurveillance (antibodies).
The governor then announced a 2-day Arkansas Surge Campaign. The idea is if you have symptoms like fever, cough or shortness of breath, get tested for COVID-19. Call your healthcare provider first and follow their guidance. There will be no cost for testing, whether you have insurance or not.
Dr. Smith agrees there should be more testing, but strategically. “the purpose of testing is to identify people who are infected, to stop the spread of covid-19, and ultimately to save lives.” he stated that it’s possible to increase testing and yet not achieve any of those three goals.
Dr. Patterson referenced the University of Washington model stating, “The predicted surge that was anticipated to happen here in Arkansas has not manifested itself. It doesn’t mean we can let our guard down.”
The doctor stated that UAMS has worked on increasing the statewide testing capacity and also making sure testing is available in the state of Arkansas no matter where you live. He said this week the mobile testing center has gone to McGehee, Marianna, Camden, and has testing lined up in Warren.
In the past week they have screened about 600 individuals, tested 248, and identified 6 positive cases, according to Patterson.
In total, the mobile testing unit has performed about 15,000 screenings, 4129 tests.
Dr. Patterson said as reagents have become available, they are committed to the 2-day surge. The current test is a nasal swab and determines whether you’re actively infected. Serological/antibody test determine the probability that you have been infected in the past.
“If we develop antibody tests that are reliable and marry those tests with what we know about the biology of COVID-19 infections, it can help us enormously in determining population prevalence and what needs to be done to manage communities that may have either very low or very high amounts of past exposure to COVID-19.”
Dr. Nate Smith, State Secretary of Health listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients below:
- 45 deaths, up by 3
- 2465 total cases
- 189 new cases
- general population cases
- 67 cases are in the general population
- 122 new cases are from Cummins State prison
- 687 total inmate cases from
- 35 total staff cases from Cummins
- Forrest City Federal Corrections institute (CDC testing)
- 75 inmate cases
- 10 staff cases
- 902 recovered cases, up by 39
- 101 hospitalizations, down by 4
- 24 on a ventilator, up by 1
- 174 nursing home residents, Up by 4
Statistics for Saline County as of the end of the day yesterday were:
- 51 Positive Tests
- 719 Negative Tests
- 29 Recovered Patients
- 1 Death
The link for the entire state is: https://adem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f533ac8a8b6040e5896b05b47b17a647