FULL BRIEFING: 117 new COVID-19 cases at Arkansas state prison, bringing total to nearly 600

1,923 positive cases, 42 deaths in Arkansas
Updated: Apr. 20, 2020 at 2:29 PM CDT
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LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - During Monday’s COVID-19 update by Governor Asa Hutchinson, 117 new cases of the virus had been confirmed at the Arkansas Department of Corrections Cummins Unit.

Dr. Nate Smith, health secretary, said there are approximately 600 cases total at the Cummins Unit in Lincoln County. Three of those have been hospitalized.

In total, the number of new positives since Sunday’s news conference was 142 with a cumulative number of 1,923 positive confirmed cases in Arkansas.

Two new deaths were recorded bringing the number to 42. Dr. Smith said a majority of those who died were at one time on a ventilator.

Hutchinson said the state is testing per capita 60 to 90 people per 1,000 people.

He said those who have COVID-19 symptoms should get tested for the virus.

Smith said the contact tracing program will expand as well as more people are trained to conduct that tracing.

As the state looks to begin lifting restrictions, Hutchinson said social restrictions will not stop. He said people should continue to practice things like social distancing and wearing masks while in public.

During the news conference, First Lady Susan Hutchinson addressed the state about April being child abuse and awareness month.

She said an issue with the virus is that people are not interacting with the children and reporting what is happening in their life and recognizing the warning signs of abuse.

Mischa Martin with the Arkansas Department of Human Services said over 3,500 families have been served by DHS since the health emergency began in Arkansas.

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