COVID-19 cases in Arkansas jumped to 830 on Sunday, up 96 cases from the 734 on Saturday. It is the largest one-day increase since the pandemic arrived in the state. 64 of the state’s 75 counties now have at least one COVID-19 case. The number of deaths rose from 14 to 16.
The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Arkansas was 67 on Sunday, down from the 72 on Saturday. As of Sunday at 1 p.m., there were 324,052 U.S. cases and 9,180 deaths. Globally, there were 1,249,107 cases and 67,999 deaths.
Of the COVID-19 patients, 27 were on ventilators, up from 23 on Friday, and 114 were healthcare workers, up from 106 on Friday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during Sunday’s (April 5) press conference that although the one-day increase is troubling, it remains below the 2,000 cases the state initially estimated would be in the state by April 5. He said the state is below the expected trend because social distancing and other guidelines are working.
However, he said it is likely the state will see 100,000 Arkansans file for jobless claims at the end of this week. The governor used that statistic to introduce Heather Larkin, president and CEO of the Arkansas Community Foundation, to discuss a COVID-19 Relief Fund. The state is partnering with the foundation to "direct the traffic" in sending relief to various state and local groups involved in helping with financial and food relief.
"In the short term, the fund will provide rapid-response grants to nonprofit organizations working on the front lines. This critical funding will enable them to maintain operations and support the increased demand for services," noted the ACF website. "In the intermediate term, the fund will focus on addressing the ongoing economic needs of Arkansans affected by the pandemic and shoring up critical systems in our state, such as healthcare, emergency food distribution, schools, etc."
Larkin said donations are up to $2 million, with the Tyson Family Foundation, Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Wingate Foundation and the Walton Family Foundation being just some of the groups to donate. Larkin said the foundation has already issued 175 grants. Donations and more information can be found at this link.
Laura Landreaux, president and CEO of Entergy Arkansas, announced at the press conference that Entergy Arkansas is donating $100,000 to the foundation’s COVID fund. She also said the utility is temporarily suspending disconnects for non payment.