Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 226 new COVID-19 cases at his press conference on June 5, bringing the total number of cases in the state of Arkansas to 8,651.
Hospitalizations have increased to 147, which is 10 more than yesterday’s total. There has also been one additional death related to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 152.
Yesterday (June 4), 3,846 COVID-19 tests were conducted across the state and had a 3.1 percent positivity rate.
“For the last 20 days, we have been below the ten percent [positivity rate]. You can almost go back about 40 days because we just had one that dipped into the 10 percent level,” Hutchinson said. “But with that positivity rate, I’m still very pleased with Arkansas.”
The state is not only increasing efforts to test more individuals, but also contact tracing efforts.
Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith noted that up to 100 volunteers are expected to be trained to conduct contact tracing next week.
The Arkansas Foundation for Medical Care, Central Arkansas LIbrary System, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Department of Human Services, University of Arkansas in Little Rock School of Social Work and New York Institute of Technology College of Osteopathic Medicine are some of the organizations that will send volunteers to the Arkansas Department of Health to train and be deployed in different areas to assist in contact tracing.
“Also, today, our request for qualifications has gone out and we are looking to contract with an organization to help us scale up our contact tracing to add 350 contact tracers plus everything they need to be effective in doing their job of contact tracing,” Smith said. “We are hoping that within the next few weeks, month or two, that we will be able to more than double our capacity for contact tracing.”