LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (KAIT) - Gov. Asa Hutchinson updates the public on the state’s response to the coronavirus, including the latest cases of COVID-19 and deaths.
Governor Hutchinson read off the numbers from the weekend and said there were 11 counties that saw a 20+ increase of new COVID-19 cases.
The number of Arkansans who have recovered from COVID-19 is 26,397.
A total of 5,689 tests were returned in 24 hours with a positivity rate of 9.6% in the state. The cumulative positivity rate for the state is 7.8%, which Governor Hutchinson said the rate, “needs to get lower.”
Hutchinson announced Monday that the state received $8.2 million in CARES Act money to help families with utility assistance to pay the bill(s).
Mitchell Simpson, Office of Energy Arkansas is launching an expanded program for low-income Arkansans who have fallen behind on utility payments; maximum benefit raised to $1,500; only requires a past due notice to qualify. If you’d like more info, you’re asked to contact your local community action agency.
The governor authorized 10 National Guard members to support COVID-19 case management at Washington Regional Hospital, as coronavirus-related hospitalizations continue to rise.
Hutchinson started the press conference by reiterating the rules from the mask-wearing executive order, saying some confusion was coming from the rules and mandates.
“Our objective is to increase the number of people who protect others by wearing a mask. We are in a public health emergency and it shouldn’t be too much to ask everyone to do their part,” said Hutchinson.
“No Arkansas county has yet qualified for an exemption from the mask mandate,” Hutchinson said.