Arkansas reaches nearly 4,800 cases of COVID-19, 98 deaths

State sees 181 case increase since Saturday, officials say

FULL BRIEFING 5/16: Gov. Hutchinson and ADH COVID-19 update for Arkansas

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - The state of Arkansas has seen an increase in the number of cumulative cases of COVID-19 reported since Saturday, officials said.

As of 3:10 p.m., Sunday, May 17, according to the Arkansas Department of Health website, the state had 4,759 cumulative cases, up 181 since Saturday. The state also had 3,590 recoveries and 98 deaths, unchanged from Saturday.

Officials also said that 85,185 people have been tested for COVID-19 in the state of Arkansas as of Sunday afternoon, while 80,426 have tested negative.

Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website offline

The state’s Pandemic Unemployment Assistance website is temporarily offline as crews work to determine information about a possible data breach to the system, Gov. Asa Hutchinson told reporters Saturday.

During the 1:30 p.m. press conference Saturday at the Capitol, Gov. Hutchinson said his office was notified about the problem with the website.

Nearly 100 staff members are working this weekend on the issue, Hutchinson said, noting state officials have contacted law enforcement and information technology specialists.

The forensics of the breach investigation was expected to be done Saturday, Hutchinson said. The investigation should let state officials know if any personal information entered onto the website was compromised.

However, Gov. Hutchinson said officials will still continue to process unemployment claims.

Hutchinson also told reporters that the state has a cyber insurance policy that covers state agencies in case of an attack. He said his experience working with Homeland Security in the President George W. Bush administration helped provide expertise on the issue.

The state’s policy also help to cover people with credit monitoring if any personal information is compromised, Gov. Hutchinson said.

Numbers

Both Gov. Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, also updated the public Saturday on the state’s response to COVID-19, including the latest number of cases and deaths.

Officials said Saturday that Arkansas has had 4,578 cumulative cases of COVID-19, an increase of 115 from Friday. The state has also had 3,472 recoveries, 1,008 active cases and 65 people are hospitalized, with no new deaths.

State prison officials also said Saturday that of the 872 people at the Cummins Unit who have tested positive to COVID-19, 860 have recovered while the Randall Williams unit in Pine Bluff has seen increases.

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