The total number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas has officially passed 30,000 as the state saw more than 500 new cases on Wednesday.
According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, there are 564 new cases of the coronavirus in the state, bringing to the total number of cases to 30,297. The death toll also increased by four, for a total of 335. Hospitalizations for the coronavirus increased by 13, for a total of 458. There are now 94 Arkansans on a ventilator, an increase of three
Speaking during Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily briefing on the pandemic that took place in Conway on Wednesday, Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said though the total number of cases in the state equals around 1% of the entire population of Arkansas, residents should still take the virus seriously.
"If you came into your living room and the curtains were on fire, you wouldn’t say 'Well that’s less than 1%. I’m not going to worry about it now, let’s wait until it gets up to 2% or 3%.' No, you get after it and the fire is still burning here. We’re making some good progress in central Arkansas, but the fire is still burning and we can’t let up until we put it out," Smith said.
Though the total number of cases increased, the state also announced 679 recovered cases on Wednesday. Since the number recovered is greater than the new cases, the total number of active cases has decreased to 6,439.
Of those active cases, 955 are from correctional facilities, while 130 are from nursing homes.
Hutchinson said the state reported 5,146 tests for Tuesday, which is below the number of testing that needs to happen for the state to meet its testing goal of 200,000 for the month of July.
"That was not quite as high as the day before. The health department labs are doing extraordinary work, but there’s still that delay in the commercial labs and it’s having an impact on the number that’s coming in. Even though 5,000 is still a very strong number of tests, it doesn’t allow us to get to the goal I’ve set for the month of July," Hutchinson said.
Pulaski County again led the state in new cases with 78, while Sebastian and Washington County had the second and third highest number of new cases, with 52 and 46 respectively.