State officials in Arkansas reported 787 new COVID-19 cases today (July 29) with 617 in the community and 170 in correctional facilities, bringing the cumulative number of cases to 40,968.
“While the case number is somewhat flat from where we’ve been in previous days, the concern is that our testing is 4,519, which is not as high as we wish it would be,” Gov. Asa Hutchinson said at his daily press conference, later adding that he spoke with the White House yesterday about the national effort to increase COVID-19 testing.
The commercial labs have been “slammed” by cases from across the United States and testing results have been delayed.
“I was informed that in August it is going to get better. They are ramping up their commercial testing. We’ll look for that, but that would be great news.”
In terms of where the majority of new cases came from, Chicot County had the highest number with 152. However, 145 of the cases in Chicot County are in a correctional facility. Pulaski County had 82, Sebastian County had 43, Benton County had 33, Little River County had 30, Craighead County had 24 and both Mississippi and Washington counties had 22.
The number of hospitalizations has increased by seven to 508 and the number of related deaths has increased by six to 438. There are 108 patients on a ventilator, up two from yesterday.
Hutchinson also provided a regional update on the growth rate of new COVID-19 cases for last week which showed the highest rate in the northeast, central and southeast regions. Northwest Arkansas and the southwest region have the two lowest rates.
“Through contact tracing, concentrated effort, we were able to start stemming that tide of the growth of cases in the northwest part of the state,” said Hutchinson. “That is really a good thing and we’ve seen that in other areas of the state that we’ve looked at.”
Dr. Jennifer Dillaha, state epidemiologist with the Arkansas Department of Health, reported that the number of recoveries has increased by 750 to 33,938. There are currently 6,596 active cases with 6,174 in the community, 342 in correctional facilities and 80 in nursing homes.