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.
Gov. Hutchinson reports the latest COVID-19 cases in Arkansas.
*439 new cases
*20,257 total cases
+7 *265 deaths
+1 Washington, Pulaski, Benton, Sevier, and Sebastian lead counties with new cases.
Dr. Smith breaks down the COVID-19 cases.
Dr. Smith says people in Central Arkansas need to be “vigilant.”
Dr. Smith stresses the need to wear masks and continue to social distance.
This after Hutchinson spoke with several other governors, and members of the Coronavirus Task Force Monday.
Hutchinson said he saw several social media posts of people not following social distancing protocols, along with not wearing any mask or face coverings to protect themselves.
He urged everyone to be responsible and do the right thing.
“It should be well understood by the public because there’s been so much publicity and the importance of wearing a mask, social distancing, we require that here in state government, where if you can’t social distance, you have to wear a mask,” Hutchinson said.
“I look at our businesses and, I had a message from a businessman, it said would you please remind everybody that our livelihood depends upon the customers really doing the right thing,” Hutchinson added. “And that is protecting themselves, protecting others, and not putting the business in a difficult decision.”
Gov. Hutchinson plans to release “words of encouragement, steps to take to be safe & avoid spreading the virus,” ahead of the July 4 weekend.
Dr. Smith says the list of churches released only showed where those with the virus had been, not that transmission had occurred there.
Hutchinson said he's proud of the way churches are conducting themselves at handling the virus.
Dr. Smith said the list of churches was made after contact tracers made contact with those infected with COVID-19.
“We’ve only had a handful of settings which we would call a cluster or evidence of transmission occurring,” Smith said. “It was not my intention that an entire list would be used to suggest that any church that had anyone who attended there who later tested positive would be targeted in any way.”