While the state of Arkansas has officially passed 20,000 cumulative COVID-19 cases and the number of active cases is near 6,000, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the number of Arkansans following guidelines has “dramatically increased.”
The number of new COVID-19 cases have been declining for the past five days.
“A question mark for Arkansas is whether we are going to be able to keep up that good work and see a consistent decline or whether there is going to be a variation from that,” he said.
Hutchinson later added that the decline of new cases is attributed to the “concentrated effort” to isolate and trace the virus through testing as well as the “constant effort by community leaders” to inform people about the importance of wearing a mask and social distancing.
While the first COVID-19 case reported in the state of Arkansas was on March 11 when the governor declared a state of emergency, the recommendation on wearing masks did not come until April.
Hutchinson noted that he and Dr. Smith began wearing them in April to “set the right example” and that it has been a “long learning curve as to the importance of [wearing masks].” According to him, the state has made a “great deal of progress” with people taking the virus and guidelines seriously.
“I think we’re far much better now than we were at the beginning,” Hutchinson said. “But also even I think we are better off now than a month ago, a month-and-a-half ago.”