Here are some Key Notes, Statistics, and Video for Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson’s news update on the COVID-19 pandemic, along with updates and guidance from Dr. Nate Smith, Secretary of Health.
The governor presented several charts as usual to show the progress of Novel Coronavirus in Arkansas.
Hutchinson said that the elevated number of cases could either show a second peak, or it could be part of a larger peak. He saidthe direction the number goes from here depends on residents following guidance from the Department of Health (ADH) and Center for Disease Control (CDC).
Dr. Smith reiterated that individual decisions and behaviors – masks, distancing, no large groups – will determine the cause numbers. He said that a friend asked him why it is such a big deal when 99% of the patients recover from COVID-19. His answer is that it’s the 1%. “Because 1% of of the population if applied to Arkansas is 30,000 people and that’s unacceptable.”
Hutchinson also announced that the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) currently has sent $16.8 million to over 15,000 claimants. He said 10,000 claimants are eligible for a payment this week but have not filed their weekly claim yet.
Finally the governor announced that Dr. Smith was offered and accepted a position at the CDC, but will stay with the ADH until August.
When asked by a reporter whether there was a difference of opinion that led to Smith seeking another position, Smith answered that there was never any opposition. “Working for the governor has been one of the highlights of my career,” stated Smith.
He said that when Admiral Stephen Redd, M.D., announced his retirement from his CDC position in February, colleagues encouraged Smith to apply. That position is Deputy Director for Public Health Service and Implementation Science.
Dr. Jose Romero has agreed to serve as Interim Secretary of Health when Smith leaves. He is the Chief of Pediatric Infectious Diseases at UAMS and Arkansas Children’s Hospital, Chief Medical Officer at Arkansas Department of Health, and Chair of the CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.
Dr. Smith listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients below:
- 6180 total cases
- 151 new cases
- 1 new case in corrections
- 150 new cases in the community
- 4332 recovered, up 83
- 18 on a ventilator, up 1
- 107 hospitalized, up 8
- 119 deaths, up 2
- 2984 tests performed yesterday
- 3.3% positivity rate (99 individuals)
- 1729 active cases
- 466 active cases in Corrections
- 72 active cases in nursing homes
- 1191 active cases in the community
- Nursing homes
- 361 total resident cases
- 215 total staff cases
Statistics for Saline County as of the end of the day yesterday were:
Total Positive: 98
Active Positive: 20
The link for case numbers the entire state is: https://adem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f533ac8a8b6040e5896b05b47b17a647