LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, updated the public on the state’s response to the coronavirus, including the latest cases of COVID-19 and deaths.
Arkansas saw another day of over 400 new cases in a 24 hour period, along with a rise in deaths, taking the statewide total to 197. Over 8,990 people have recovered statewide.
Hutchinson announced that on July 1, nursing homes can begin accepting visitors again in Arkansas.
Dr. Smith of the numbers, “We are only seeing about 1/3 of our nursing homes with active cases.”
Hutchinson told reporters, “We’re ahead of schedule on testing. The rate is low. And in consultation with the Department of Health, we’ve decided it’s the right time to resume visitation.”
“Screening won’t catch those who are asymptomatic/presymptomatic,” Dr. Nate Smith says. “But, by meeting outside, wearing masks, will reduce the risk.”
The state has 4,413 active cases as of Wednesday afternoon. Of those, 147 are in nursing homes, 676 are in prisons, and 3,590 are in the community.
The counties with the highest rise in cases;
- Washington - 90
- Benton - 81
- Lee - 24
- Pulaski - 21
The City of Fayetteville passed a city ordinance requiring masks to be worn indoors Tuesday night.
Hutchinson said, “The Fayetteville City Council ordinance on requiring masks to be worn indoors is well-meaning. But, I would prefer cities not to take that step because we want people to take responsibility for themselves.”
Meanwhile, in northwest Arkansas, UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson told the University of Arkansas Board of Trustees that he predicts the peak of COVID-19 infections in Arkansas will occur on Sept. 30th, with approximately 150,000 active infections.
Our content partner KATV has a reporter in the meeting: