Michael Tilley/ Talk Business & Politics

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows a graph during Tuesday's press conference indicating a downward trend Arkansas has seen in recent days.
Governor's Office / YouTube

On a day U.S. COVID-19 deaths topped 400,000, new confirmed and probable cases in Arkansas continued a downward trend with 1,331 cases reported Tuesday, well below the 3,209 reported the previous Tuesday.

The Arkansas Department of Health also reported that confirmed and active cases fell by 1,854 to 20,940. Unfortunately, deaths rose by 43 to 4,386. The ADH also reported 50 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Tuesday, down from 57 on Monday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows a report detailing plans for vaccinating Arkansans while Col. Robert Ator, who will serve as project manager, looks on.
Governor's Office / YouTube

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday said the state will accelerate vaccine availability for older Arkansans and those in education. The updated vaccine push comes as University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences modeling predicts more than 5,000 COVID-19 deaths by Feb. 28.

Lines of cars with people being tested for COVID-19 stream through a garage at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on July 13, 2020. On Monday, hospitalizations reached a new high.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

COVID-19 hospitalizations again set a new daily record in Monday’s Arkansas Department of Health report, rising by 62 to 1,296. Available ICU beds fell from 58 on Sunday to 49 on Monday. COVID deaths reached 3,800.

Also on Monday, Northwest Arkansas hospitals reported reaching a record of 128 patients in their COVID-19 units. The previous record was 122. The region has been one of the hardest hit in the state by the pandemic.

Governor's Office / YouTube

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson said the Little Rock hospital is adding new emergency department space in an adjacent parking deck and may double up patients in single rooms in response to the growing number of COVID-19 hospitalizations.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson (at the podium) speaks with reporters during Tuesday's COVID-19 press briefing.
Governor's Office / YouTube

With hospitalizations and deaths continuing to set new daily records, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he is “not satisfied with the pace” of vaccinations in the state. He also warned that the state’s hospitals will be further stressed with infections from Christmas and New Year gatherings.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Available ICU beds in Arkansas fell in Friday’s report to 37, down from 46 on Thursday and well below the 73 on Tuesday, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Total cumulative known confirmed and probable cases rose by 2,878 to 197,421, and confirmed and probable active cases rose by 733 to 22,392. Total deaths rose by 27 to 3,139.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking during a Thursday evening address concerning the coronavirus.
Arkansas PBS

Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Thursday used his first primetime television address while in the state’s top office to essentially repeat pleas for Arkansans to wear masks, follow other health safety rules, and be smart about holiday gatherings.

Baptist Health CEO Troy Wells speaks at the state's weekly COVID-19 press briefing on Tuesday.
Governor's Office

With hospitalizations continuing to set new daily records, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday discussed changes to the state’s trauma system to coordinate COVID-19 care, and efforts to expedite bringing teachers into the state’s beleaguered public schools.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The hits just keep coming. COVID-19 hospitalizations and patients on ventilators again set new daily records in Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health. Total cases and deaths rose 38.5% and 26%, respectively, between Nov. 2 and Nov. 30.

ADH numbers show 1,063 hospitalizations in Monday’s report, a new record and up 33 over the daily record set Sunday. COVID-19 patients on ventilators rose by 16 to a new record of 201. Total cumulative known confirmed and probable cases increased Monday by 1,112 to 157,359. Total deaths rose by 32 to 2,502.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson answering a question from a reporter at Tuesday's press briefing.
Governor's Office

It’s not a pretty picture. Updated University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences COVID-19 modeling suggests the virus will hit the state harder before it, ideally, relents. Apathy and COVID fatigue are primary causes of “increasing pressure” on hospitals, according to UAMS.

“Taking all statistics presented in this report as a whole, we conclude COVID-19 in Arkansas has entered a phase of community spread in which the virus is so prevalent it can no longer be associated with a person or a place,” noted the UAMS report posted Tuesday.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

That last call for alcohol will come earlier beginning Friday with Gov. Asa Hutchinson announcing Thursday an 11 p.m. closing time for bars and other businesses that sell “on-premise” alcohol. The early close time will continue each day through Jan. 3.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson having his temperature checked as a COVID-19 precaution last week before going into a cabinet meeting.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A letter signed by more than 270 Arkansas doctors asks Gov. Asa Hutchinson to do more to stop the “unchecked” COVID-19 spread, with part of the request recommending the closing of bars and gyms, while limiting restaurants to take-out only.

The letter said the state’s medical system will be “greatly compromised” if the recent spike in cases is not reversed.

U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

With daily COVID-19 cases topping 2,000 for the first time, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Friday (Nov. 13) announced a “winter task force” to focus on hospital resources and workers. Business restrictions and statewide school closings, however, are still opposed by Gov. Hutchinson.

New daily COVID-19 cases again topped 1,000 in Thursday’s report, and the number of public school districts in “red zones” rose to 42, up from 26 a week earlier, according to the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement (ACHI).

Gov. Asa Hutchinson showing a graph during Tuesday's press briefing showing hospitalizations reached an all-time high in the state.
Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that the COVID-19 outbreak in the White House has caused Arkansans to be more serious about the virus and has encouraged Arkansans to “never forget the virus that continues to be part of this emergency and the reason for it.”

Lines of cars go through a triage center Monday at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock for people to be tested for the coronavirus. A spokeswoman says the average wait time has been three to four hours, with about 500 people tes
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

New COVID-19 modeling from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences estimates daily infections will be “significantly lower” by Oct. 6 if public schools open with virtual learning only. Gov. Asa Hutchinson has said schools will open Aug. 24 with in-class instruction.

The modeling update based on numbers as of Aug. 14, predicts 3,000 new daily infections by Oct. 6 with virtual learning only, 5,500 daily infections with a hybrid of virtual and in-class instruction, and 8,000 daily infections if all classes are in person.

A panel of those who spoke at a meeting of the state’s Education Caucus answered questions from lawmakers about the coronavirus and its impact on the upcoming school year, which is set to begin in less that two weeks.
Sarah Kellogg / KUAR News

Objections to opening schools with in-class instruction from Arkansas teachers of the year and the Arkansas Education Association are not moving Gov. Asa Hutchinson from his stance on the Aug. 24 opening of all public schools.

Arkansas Education Association President Carol Fleming on Monday told state lawmakers she believes it is not safe for schools to open to in-class instruction. She said schools should open the 2020-2021 school year with virtual learning only.

Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration building in Little Rock.

Arkansas State tax revenue in July totaled $766.8 million, up 47.2% thanks to an almost 90% growth in individual income tax resulting from a tax deadline shift from April to July, according to Tuesday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Finance and Administration.

Solomon Graves Department of Correction
Bobby Ampezzan / Arkansas Public Media

Solomon Graves has been named by Gov. Asa Hutchinson as incoming Arkansas Secretary of Corrections. Graves had served as chief of staff to outgoing Corrections Secretary Wendy Kelley – the first female to ever lead the state agency – who is retiring at the end of July.

arkansas gaming casino
Talk Business & Politics

Not so fast on placing your bets. Gulfside Casino Partnership, which on June 18 was awarded a license for a a $254 million casino resort in Pope County, must now work with a competitor and the Arkansas Attorney General’s office to determine the future of the license.

The Arkansas Racing Commission on Monday agreed that scoring bias tainted awarding of the license.

Fred Weatherspoon, deputy director at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy, speaks at Tuesday's announcement after being appointed chair of Gov. Asa Hutchinson's Law Enforcement Task Force.
Governor's Office / YouTube

A law enforcement task force that includes leaders of recent protests in Arkansas is being asked by Gov. Asa Hutchinson for a “wide-ranging set of recommendations” on improving law enforcement, but “defunding the police” will not be part of the review.