The state of Arkansas now has a cumulative number of 28,939 COVID-19 cases.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported 572 new cases at his press conference on Monday, July 13. Over the weekend, the state had a record number of new cases in a single day on Saturday, July 11 with 1,061 and an additional 503 cases on Sunday.
Pulaski County had the most number of new cases today with 77, Washington County had 53, Sebastian County had 40, Pope county had 25, both Benton and Mississippi counties had 23, Crittenden County had 22 and both Craighead and Jefferson counties had 20. All other counties had less than 20 new cases.
“The number of new cases that we have are really largely spread across the state in multiple counties even though the largest concentration is in our population base here in Pulaski County,” Hutchinson said.
Furthermore, he commented on the importance of wearing masks to help reduce transmission of COVID-19.
“Masks [are] the one tool that we have to reduce the spread of the virus, to be able to give ourselves the ability to be out and move in public without spreading the virus,” said Hutchinson. “The mask is something that we want to continue to impress upon Arkansans that it will make a difference for us.”
The number of hospitalizations have increased by 19 within the past 24 hours to 439. However, nine are in the Arkansas State Hospital.
“That facility does not admit people for care of COVID-19. These were residents there who then were tested positive,” Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said. “We do include the state hospital as a hospital in our counting of currently hospitalized in COVID-19 patients, but in terms of testing strategy we treat them like a long-term care facility and do routine testing. These cases were detected when we did routine testing of those high-risk residents.”
There are two additional deaths, bringing the total number of related deaths to 323.
Smith noted that there were over 500 individuals at the Ouachita River Unit who tested positive for the virus over the weekend.
In regards to the number of active cases, there are 6,510 active cases with 5,425 in the community, 958 in correctional facilities and 127 in nursing homes. The number of recoveries has increased by 515 from yesterday to 22,106.
Smith commented on the wearing of masks as well, saying that “they are designed for source control.”
He later added, “It is true that these masks—surgical masks, cloth masks—are not designed to protect the person wearing it. They’re not highly protective, but they’re very effective in keeping respiratory droplets from becoming aerosolized and infecting others. Again, it is not true that masks do not protect against COVID-19 in a group or population level. That message there is to say you can’t depend on them to protect you if no one else is wearing a mask.”