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 (see above), but included regional charts this time (see below).
Governor Asa Hutchinson announced that he signed an executive order to create a Technical Advisory Board to review and evaluate new technologies for treating COVID-19, as the state’s public health agencies develop strategies for testing and contact tracing.
“Two of the most critical tools in our ongoing efforts to stop COVID-19 are testing and finding those who have had contact with someone who is sick or who has tested positive,” Governor Hutchinson said. “The technology for those tasks is changing rapidly. This advisory board will review options to ensure that we are employing the best tools that will allow us to quickly mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.”
Governor Hutchinson appointed Dr. Austin Porter III as chair of the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Board. Dr. Porter is the Deputy Chief Science Officer at the Arkansas Department of Health.
The Governor’s other appointees to the COVID-19 Technical Advisory Board are:
- Nolan Leatherwood, Interim Chief Information Security Officer, Arkansas Department of Information Systems.
- Donald McCormick, Epidemiologist, Arkansas Department of Health.
- Jim Carter, Chief Information Officer, Arkansas Department of Health.
- Adita Karkera, Deputy State Chief Data Officer, Arkansas Department of Information Systems.
- Dr. Michael Cima, Chief Epidemiologist and Associate Director for Science, Arkansas Department of Health.
- Dr. Mandana Rezaeiahari, Assistant Professor of Health Policy and Management, Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
- Dr. Kevin Sexton, Co-Director of Healthcare Analytics, Institute of Digital Health and Innovation; Associate Chief Clinical Informatics Officer for Innovation, Research, and Entrepreneurship; Assistant Professor, Department of Surgery, Biomedical Informatics and Health Policy Management, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
- Jennifer Davis, Chief Privacy Officer, Arkansas Department of Information Systems.
- Anne Santifer, Director, Office of Health Information Technology, Arkansas Department of Health.
- Kim Gardner, Arkansas Department of Human Services.
- Clark Cogbill, Arkansas Economic Development Commission, Department of Commerce.
Governor Hutchinson created this advisory board by Executive Order 20-28.
The state will allow camping in tents beginning Monday, June 1st, and will have bath houses open, according to Hurst.
“With the responsibility to keep our facilities clean and safe for visitors and staff, limiting access has been a necessity. But now, we have the PPE needed to protect our employees, and a good system in place to feel confident that we can reopen these facilities in a safe manner.”
Regarding federal land, Hurst said the Corps of Engineers opened most of their campgrounds on May 20th, the Buffalo National River and Hot Springs National Park opened campgrounds today (Friday, May 29th). She said the Ouachita National Forest and Ozark National Forest are both working toward opening campgrounds in the near future.
Hurst reminded visitors to stay safe, “Keep an appropriate physical distance, and wear a mask. Now is not the time to gather at the campfire, to congregate at trailheads… Our rangers and uniform staff will be monitoring and reminding people of their responsibility to use our parks and natural areas wisely.”
Dr. Smith highlighted testing events as a way to combat the virus. There are now events going on around the state, as well as the ability to make an appointment with your local Health Department Unit to get tested for COVID-19. Those tests are free and can now be performed on individuals regardless of whether they have symptoms.
See two recent articles about where to get tested:
- Healthy Connections to Host Free COVID-19 Test Event in Benton, June 3rd
- Health Dept to Host COVID-19 Test Events Around State; Symptoms Not Required
Dr. Smith listed the current statistics for COVID-19 patients below:
- 132 deaths, up 7
- 113 hospitalizations, up 9
- 24 on ventilator, up 3
- 6777 total cases
- 239 new cases
- 2 in corrections
- 237 in community
- 25 healthcare workers
- 12 nursing home residents
- 15 nursing home staff
- 53 in Washington County
- 38 in Benton County
- 31 in Sevier County
- 21 in Crittenden County
- 15 in Pulaski County
- 1699 active cases
- 73 in nursing homes
- 144 in corrections
- 1482 in community
- 4946 recovered, up 363
- 2702 tests yesterday
- 4.2% positive
- 70,000 tests in May
- 121,302 tests total
- That’s about 4% of Arkansas population
Statistics for Saline County as of the end of the day yesterday were:
Total Positive: 108
Active Positive: 27
The link for case numbers the entire state is: https://adem.maps.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/f533ac8a8b6040e5896b05b47b17a647