Arkansas pushes for more testing with new campaign

Encouraging those with COVID-19 symptoms to get tested

FULL BRIEFING 4/23: Gov. Hutchinson and ADH COVID-19 update for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The state of Arkansas has surpassed 2,400 confirmed COVID-19 cases, as more than 100 new cases were confirmed at the Cummins Prison Unit.

As of 1:30 p.m. Thursday, the total number of cases was at 2,465, according to the latest numbers Governor Asa Hutchinson provided at his daily news briefing.

That is a 189-case increase from Wednesday.

Of those cases, 122 came from the Cummins prison unit - which includes inmates and staff.

Dr. Nate Smith, of the ADH, said there are 85 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the federal prison in Forrest City. He expects more numbers to be reported soon from the Centers for Disease Control.

Gov. Hutchinson also reported 3 more deaths, with the total at 45 deaths in Arkansas. Nearly 900 people have recovered from COVID-19.

By 10 p.m. Thursday, April 23, the total number of cases jumped to 2,599.

Arkansas pushes for widespread testing

“If you think you have symptoms don’t wait - get tested."

It’s the message of the Arkansas Surge Campaign, a new 2-day campaign to encourage people to tested Hutchinson said the goal is to increase the testing in the state from 1,000 to 1,500.

“It takes the patient out there to say ‘Yes, I wanna go get tested’” the governor said at the news conference.

Further Testing Recommendations

During the conference, the governor addressed testing in the state. According to the graphics he displayed during the conference, the majority of the testing was being performed by private labs.

Hutchinson also announced new testing recommendations suggested by a committee that looked into the state’s testing.

Those recommendations included expanding testing for patients with COVID-19 symptoms and those with a history of exposure, expand testing for contact investigations, screen for COVID-19 in high-risk settings, and develop a strategy for statewide COVID-19 antibody testing.

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