Governor optimistic after “high-testing,” results in only 294 new COVID cases

Commerce Secretary Mike Preston reports unemployment was down to 7.1%, as the state continues to see a drop, 7th consecutive week.

FULL BRIEFING 9/8: Gov. Hutchinson and ADH COVID-19 update for Arkansas

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.

Hutchinson was optimistic when he announced new numbers Tuesday, as declining new case numbers were reported this past weekend, even amid “robust” testing.

Hutchinson announced Arkansas is using $4 million to buy 120,000 antigen tests. It comes as part of a multi-state coalition to buy a larger volume of antigen tests.

Hutchinson announced that Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston will talk about the $300 additional pandemic assistance. Hutchinson said, “We’re ready to send it, but one week at a time because we’re unsure of the funding stream for it.”

The number of active coronavirus cases on the University of Arkansas campus in Fayetteville is now approaching 1,000.

The school on Monday reported 439 new cases during the weekend, bringing the total active cases to 923. The vast majority of the cases are students, the university said.

The state Health Department in a separate report said there are 961 active cases at UA’s campus.

The spike comes days after the school moved to restrict on-campus events and off-campus parties over concerns about the outbreak.

Arkansas State University in Jonesboro on Tuesday reported 107 cases on campus.

Watch the full briefing live on-air or online here>>>

Copyright 2020 KAIT. All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this story.