Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 190 new COVID-19 cases at his press conference in Rogers today, bringing the total number to 7,433. The northwest region of the state as well as the southwest region continue to see peaks in new COVID-19 cases.
The number of hospitalizations has increased to 121, up six from yesterday, and 26 individuals are on ventilators. The number of deaths related to COVID-19 remains the same as yesterday at 113.
There are currently 1,909 active cases with 1,778 in the community, 78 in nursing homes and 53 in correctional facilities.
Hutchinson shared the graph for the seven-day rolling average of new COVID-19 in the state of Arkansas.
“Of course, we had our early peak in April. We flattened out and then we are going back up,” he said. “You can see the trend line, which is not a good trend line, which we hope we can reverse.”
The recent increase of cases in the state has primarily been due to the northwest region. Until mid-May, Northwest Arkansas had less than 20 cases per day. However, the number of new cases in the region have been over 20, increasing every day since May 18.
Hutchinson noted that the rise in cases is a reminder that the virus is not over and has affected different regions in the state at different times. “It’s a matter of constant vigilance that we have to have,” he said.
The state continues to increase its COVID-19 testing efforts to identify cases and break chains in transmission.
“In [the] northwest region, we have had a total of 1,749 who have tested positive. Our percent positivity rate for the region has been 5.8 percent,” Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said. “Now, we’ve done a lot of testing here in the northwest region, but we are still behind the rest of the state. We have done 281 tests per 10,000 people in Northwest Arkansas, whereas for the whole state, we have done 442 [tests per 10,000 people].”
According to Smith, there are currently 985 active cases in Northwest Arkansas. He also noted that 43 percent of the total number of cases in Northwest Arkansas has been in the Latino community. The state has hosted several testing events across the state to reach more people, especially minorities.
Within the past 24 hours, 3,798 COVID-19 tests have been conducted across the state with a six percent positivity rate. According to Hutchinson, the state conducted 80,808 COVID-19 tests during the month of May, well surpassing the original target of 60,000. He announced earlier in May that the state has set a goal to test every nursing home resident and staff member at facilities in June.