Governor Hutchinson, who visited DeQueen today for his daily briefing, acknowledged the continuation of a rising number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas and said it was a trend being experienced in other states.
The virus “does not give up,” he said, in making his usual exhortation to wear masks, keep distance and so forth.
A Health Department official talked about cases in Sevier County in Spanish because the Hispanic population there has experienced a larger percentage of Sevier’s high per capita rate of infection.
The daily COVID-19 count
Arkansas recorded 751 new cases of coronavirus in the last 24 hours (149 in prisons), raising the total in the state from 26,052 to 26,803. Deaths rose by four to 313. Hospitalizations increased by eight to 402. Active cases: 5,847. 84 people are on ventilators.
The top counties in new cases during the 24-hour period: Hot Spring, 145 (most in Ouachita River state prison); Pulaski, 100; Benton, 54; Washington, 51; Sebastian, 42; Faulkner and Pope, 25; Jefferson, 23; Yell, 21.
The governor portrayed the day’s results as “flat.” But the seven-day rolling average appears to be at its highest level ever, a bit above 600 new cases per day.
Tests conducted in 24 hours: 5,212.
Hutchinson said testing was being completed, on average in less than three days. But the time has edged up because commercial labs have been swamped by test demands.
Other topics and Q&A
Asked about those who resist wearing masks, Hutchinson said it’s common sense that they protect against the spread of the virus. Health Department Director Nate Smith also said masks are useful in “source control.” Surgeons wear masks, he noted. “We know they work.”
Hutchinson said he was “very impressed” with safety measures at a local Pilgrim’s Pride poultry plant. He said it had been part of a “success story” in the reduction of cases in Sevier County, though he acknowledged a large number of cases were workers at two plants in town.