At Tuesday’s coronavirus briefing, Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said 1,406 COVID-19 tests were performed over the last 24 hours — the largest number of processed tests in a 24-hour period. Dr. Nate Smith, director of the Arkansas Department of Health, said of those tests, 1.6 percent came back positive.
The governor also said he’s issuing an executive order giving city officials the flexibility to close certain parks and facilities, as long as they coordinate such closings with his office and such restrictions do not impede commerce.
Little Rock Mayor Frank Scott, Jr. spoke at the briefing stressing the importance of state and city officials working together to keep Arkansans flattening the curve.
The mayor did say he would like the governor to give him the authority to issue stronger stay-at-home orders for Little Rock. Hutchinson noted he has heard from other Arkansas mayors regarding such orders, but the governor, who has resisted stronger stay-at-home restrictions, said he would prefer any possible order be statewide because, otherwise, it could impact services in one community that serves other communities. But, Hutchinson and Scott both agreed that the state working with mayors on how to best serve individual communities is still key to fighting the spread.
In other news from Tuesday’s briefing:
- As of Tuesday afternoon, the statewide total of positive cases was 946 — a rise of 71 additional cases within the past 24 hours.
- Two new deaths were recorded, bringing the Arkansas total of COVID-19-related deaths to 18. Both victims were in the 65-and-older age range.
- Seventy-four remain hospitalized, a figure that has stayed the same since Monday.
- In terms of health care workers, 12 more have tested positive since Monday, bringing the total to 134.
- Two new counties were added to the list of those with positive cases: Logan and Clay counties.
- At the Forrest City Federal Correction Facility, there are now a total of 24 inmates who have tested positive along with five staff members.
- According to a University to Washington model, COVID-19 is estimated to potentially peak in Arkansas as early as April 24. However, Smith noted that because Arkansas was one of the latest states to report COVID-19, it is possible our peak could be later than states.
- Over 150 COVID-19 cases have recovered in the state.
- Northwest Arkansas hospitals are reporting a low number of coronavirus-related hospitalizations in that section of the state.
- And the governor announced that Arkansas Heart Hospital in Little Rock was donating 500 tests to be utilized on state health care workers.
The new White River Now mobile app has started featuring regular COVID-19 updates and podcasts. In addition to the updates featured on the White River Now family of radio stations, the COVID-19 podcast section also features new interviews with Stone County Judge Stacey Avey, Batesville Mayor Rick Elumbaugh, Independence County Judge Robert Griffin, state Sen. Stu Smith, and state Sen. James Sturch. Download the free White River Now mobile app today from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, and keep up-to-date on all local and state coronavirus information and to listen to the streams of White River Now radio stations.
We also carry live feeds of Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s COVID-19’s briefings on-air at Arkansas 103.3, online at White River Now’s Facebook page, and through the Arkansas 103.3 stream on the White River Now mobile app on Arkansas 103.3.
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