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Gov.: Fauci says Arkansas taking the right steps in COVID-19 fight

In Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s statewide COVID-19 briefing Friday afternoon, the governor noted he and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH), had a phone conversation with Dr. Anthony Fauci, a member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus taskforce, earlier that morning.

Hutchinson said the three went over COVID-19 statistics in the state, and that Fauci gave his stamp of approval to the steps Arkansas was taking and the direction the state was going in fighting the coronavirus spread.

Officials also said Arkansas had another record-breaking single day of testing on Thursday with 1,348 tests reported. Commercial labs processed 1,147 tests while ADH processed 118, and UAMS reported 83 tests. Forty of the 83 UAMS tests were processed via their mobile unit in Texarkana. The unit is in Helena today.

Two more deaths were reported in the state since Thursday. One victim was below the age of 65 while the other was above the age of 65. The total number of deaths in Arkansas now stands at 23.

Positive cases also went up 77 from Thursday with the state now recording 1,171 positive cases.

In other news from the briefing:

  • The total number of positive cases among health care workers is now 168 — up 10 from Thursday. However, Smith noted that 46 of the 168 have recovered.
  • Eighty-six are hospitalized. That figure is up 13.
  • Thirty-three are on ventilators, up two from Thursday.
  • There have 312 recoveries since Thursday, a jump of 59.
  • Smith also noted an article published today in a Centers for Disease Control publication that noted Arkansas had one of the lowest increases in cases between March 31 to April 7.
  • And the governor said there will be no briefings Saturday and Sunday.


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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Get up-to-date local and regional news along with the latest sports and weather every weekday morning by listening to Gary B. on Ozark Newsline, broadcast from the First Community Bank Newsroom on Arkansas 103.3. White River Now updates are also aired weekday mornings on 93 KZLE, Outlaw 106.5, and 99.5 Hits Now. Have a news tip or event to promote? Email White River Now at Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Add don’t forget to download the  White River Now mobile app from the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store.

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