Arkansas added just over 600 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday as the cumulative number of cases nears 71,000.
According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state saw 606 new coronavirus cases. The total number of cases is now 70,731. Of those cases, 5,572 are considered active.
Speaking during a briefing on the coronavirus, taking place Wednesday in Batesville, Gov. Asa Hutchinson spoke on the northeast section of the state, which reported the highest percentage of growth of positive cases between September 6 and 12.
"It is at 7.6% growth rate between September 6 and September 12, which is four days ago and that is the highest in terms of growth rate. In terms of raw numbers, it is second. Obviously northwest has 1,030 cases, but it’s a higher percent," Hutchinson said.
Hospitalizations decreased by two for a total of 387, while those on a ventilator decreased by three. That total is now 65. Seven more Arkansans have died from COVID-19, for a total of 1,010. The state logged 6,360 PCR testing results over the last 24 hours. Additionally, the state added 529 antigen test results.
According to the Department of Health of the PCR tests, 2,444 were conducted by public health labs, commercial labs contributed 3,544 tests while UAMS conducted 372. The state also logged the results of 529 antigen tests.
Washington County, which houses the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, had the highest number of new cases Wednesday with 65. According to the university’s dashboard, the school logged 100 new cases between September 11-13.
Pulaski County added 58 new cases, while Benton added 37.
Hutchinson also spoke on the most recent COVID-19 modeling from UAMS, which currently projects that if nothing changes, the state will have close to 121,062 cumulative cases and 2,088 deaths by the end of October.
"They did recognize and express concern that we could have an expansion of cases simply because we’re reopening schools and universities. Well that’s a challenge to us to make sure we do it safely so that we don’t add to the spread in new cases. And I applaud out education partners that have been doing this," Hutchinson said.
The modeling also projects 14-day forecast of a cumulative 4,852 hospitalizations, 1,986 patients needing intensive care and 1,108 deaths.