Arkansas COVID-19

Reports and programming on coronavirus disease 2019 and its impact on Arkansas.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Effective immediately, Arkansas is lifting nearly all restrictions on businesses related to the coronavirus pandemic. Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday that all capacity limits on businesses and large gatherings will only be recommendations, and not enforceable by law.

Speaking in a news conference at the state Capitol, Hutchinson said the goal is to give businesses more flexibility to tailor public health guidelines to better fit with their day-to-day operations.

In this file photo, one dose of the vaccine is shown during a press conference Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

 

Noting "broad swaths of progress" in distributing vaccines in the state, Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Tuesday announced that those 65 to 69 in age are now eligible to receive the vaccine. According to Hutchinson, Lowering the age from 70 to 65 provides vaccine access to about 115,000 more Arkansans. 

Governor's Office

Although Arkansas reported a lower number of new COVID-19 cases, as well as a large decrease in active cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson credits that drop to less testing due to the current winter weather.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the state saw an increase of 177 new cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 313,525. Of those cases, 9,104 are considered active, which is a decrease of 1,390.

Additionally, the state saw 12 more deaths due to COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 5,287.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

New COVID-19 confirmed and probable cases rose by only 320, well below the 672 on the previous Monday thanks in large part to low testing numbers because of severe winter weather. Total testing in the past 24 hours was 4,439, below the 6,712 reported the previous Monday.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson says states need to take the lead in administering the coronavirus vaccine as the number of new virus cases in the state dropped.

Hutchinson on Friday was among a bipartisan group of governors and mayors who met with President Joe Biden to discuss the president's $1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package.

Hutchinson said they also addressed the vaccine, and that he told the president the state's don't need to have duplicative programs.

In this file photo, one dose of the vaccine is shown during a press conference Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Almost 16,000 vaccines were administered in Arkansas in the past 24 hours, the state Department of Health said Thursday, while active COVID-19 cases are down significantly week-over-week. 25 deaths were reported, with 21 confirmed to be from the disease while four were probable.

The department's report Thursday showed 1,103 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, well below the 2,496 reported on the previous Thursday. The cumulative total rose to 311,043. Total testing in the past 24 hours was 13,087, below the 14,850 reported the previous Thursday.

An employee at a Chicken Express restaurant in Texarkana, Ark. telling a reporter Saturday that employees are not required to wear masks. That assertion was contradicted by the state Department of Health and Gov. Asa Hutchinson.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Despite a clear directive from Gov. Asa Hutchinson that Arkansas restaurant employees who come in contact with customers must wear face masks, some restaurants are still not taking the safety precaution to try and limit the spread of the coronavirus. But Hutchinson said Tuesday he believes most restaurants are following his guidance.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking to reporters Tuesday during his weekly press briefing on the pandemic.
Governor's Office / YouTube

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences COVID-19 modeling update suggests virus variants could result in more hospitalizations and deaths. Arkansas Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero is not convinced the modeling is correct, and said the state’s focus will remain on wearing masks, washing hands, maintaining distance and getting vaccines distributed as fast as possible.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The Arkansas Department of Health on Monday reported 637 new COVID-19 cases, well below the 1,226 reported on the previous Monday. Total testing in the past 24 hours was 6,712, below the 8,201 reported the previous Monday.

New confirmed and probable cases pushed the cumulative total to 307,373. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 1,004 to 15,320. Deaths rose by 30 to 5,106. Hospitalizations fell by 4 to 777, well below the 889 on the previous Monday. The ADH also reported 120 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Monday, up from 92 on Sunday.

UAMS Medical Assistant Latondra Ford sticks a swab deep into the nose of a North Little Rock Police officer being tested for the coronavirus.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

COVID-19 deaths topped 5,000 in Thursday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health, while new cases rose by 2,469, more than the 1,892 new cases on the previous Thursday.

The new confirmed and probable cases pushed the cumulative total to 302,430. Active confirmed and probable cases rose by 459 to 16,922. Deaths rose by 24 to 5,009. Hospitalizations fell by 69 to total 815, well below the 996 on the previous Thursday. The ADH also reported 83 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Thursday, down from 99 on Wednesday.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

After several days of week-over-week declines, the Arkansas Department of Health on Wednesday reported 2,246 new COVID-19 cases, well above the 1,777 reported the previous Wednesday. Active cases of 16,533 were below the 17,868 on the previous Wednesday.

The new confirmed and probable cases pushed the cumulative total to 300,430. Deaths rose by 46 to 4,985. Hospitalizations rose by 15 to total 884, well below the 1,029 on the previous Wednesday. The ADH also reported 99 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, up from 93 on Tuesday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Health Secretary Dr. José Romero and other state officials enter the governor's conference room at the state Capitol for Tuesday's coronavirus press conference.
Governor's Office / YouTube

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday the state will receive a 5% increase in vaccines delivered, which is on top of the 16% increase announced last week. He also said Walmart will receive 10,000 doses beginning Feb. 11 to be distributed at more than 60 stores in the state.

In addition to an increased vaccine supply from the federal government, Gov. Hutchinson also said Tuesday during his weekly COVID-19 briefing he will not extend beyond Feb. 3 the 11 p.m. required closing of bars.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Encouraging COVID-19 trends continue in Arkansas with active confirmed and probable cases and hospitalizations showing large declines in Monday’s report compared to the previous Monday, according to the Arkansas Department of Health.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaking Sunday on ABC' This Week.
ABC News

Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson says the distribution of the coronavirus vaccine has been “seamless” under the administration of President Joe Biden.

Speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” Hutchinson that anything that can be done to speed up production of vaccines, including invoking the Defense Production Act, would be good.

The state reported on Saturday that 299,938 of the 520,00 doses Arkansas has received of the coronavirus vaccine have been given.

In this file photo, one dose of the vaccine is shown during a press conference Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

More than 17,000 Arkansans have been vaccinated in the previous 24 hours, bringing the total to 284,928 doses delivered since Dec. 14, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. The state does not yet show data reflecting first doses and second doses delivered.

The ADH on Friday also reported 1,707 new confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases, down from 2,162 reported the previous Friday. There were 16,592 total tests in the previous 24 hours, just above the 16,410 on the previous Friday. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 221 to 17,326, but deaths rose by 47 to 4,831.

Arkansas Capitol
flickr.com

The chairmen of the Joint Budget Committee and House Revenue & Tax Committee want to provide tax relief for Arkansans who may not even know they could owe it. Sen. Jonathan Dismang, R-Beebe, and Rep. Joe Jett, R-Success, filed SB 236 on Thursday which would exempt unemployment compensation benefits from state income tax in 2020 and 2021.

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

The overall trend of fewer new and active cases continued Wednesday with the Arkansas Department of Health reporting double-digit declines in hospitalizations and ventilator use. Deaths, however, rose by 52 to 4,742.

In this file photo, one dose of the vaccine is shown during a press conference Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday he had an “optimistic” call with the White House COVID-19 coordinator on receiving more vaccines, saying that a consistent and increasing supply is needed for more efficient vaccine distribution.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

New confirmed and probable COVID-19 cases totaled 636 in Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health, which was well below the 1,109 in the previous Monday. However, the previous Monday had about 2,000 more tests conducted.

The increase in confirmed and probable cases brought the cumulative total to 284,702. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 1,603 to 17,792, but deaths rose by 44 to 4,650. The ADH also reported 85 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Monday, up from 66 on Sunday. Statewide COVID hospitalizations rose by 4 to 1,084.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

COVID-19 cases rose by 3,106 in Thursday’s report by the Arkansas Department of Health, well above the 2,491 on the previous Thursday. The increase ended four consecutive days in which confirmed and probable cases declined week over week.

The rise in new cases pushed the cumulative total to 279,220. The ADH also reported that confirmed and active cases rose by 227 to 20,618. The ADH also reported 68 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Thursday, down from 48 on Wednesday. Confirmed and probable deaths rose by 55 to 4,496.

Rep. Lanny Fite, seen here in May 2009 when he was Saline County Judge, has become the latest state legislator to test positive for the coronavirus.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Another Arkansas lawmaker has tested positive for the coronavirus. That's the third member of the Legislature to be infected since lawmakers convened this year's session last week.

Rep. Lanny Fite said Wednesday that he tested positive but has not had any symptoms. Fite said he is isolating at home and had already been quarantining since Rep. Milton Nicks tested positive last week. Fite sits next to Nicks in the House chamber.

At least 24 Arkansas lawmakers have tested positive for the virus since the pandemic began.

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.

npr.org

Arkansas businesses can now apply for a second round of loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP.

The second set of loans from the federal program opened to businesses getting loans from lenders with under $1 billion in assets late last week, and will open for all other businesses Tuesday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson getting a COVID-19 vaccine Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

As Arkansas began the next phase Monday of vaccinating people for the coronavirus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson pulled up his sleeve to get a shot. It happened the same day the state reported 32 additional deaths, but with a sharp decline in active cases and fewer new cases compared to previous Mondays.

The 70-year-old governor told reporters at the Arkansas Department of Health that he wanted to show he and First Lady Susan Hutchinson have confidence in the safety of the vaccine.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

The week-over-week trend for new COVID-19 cases continues to trend lower in Arkansas, but hospitalizations and active cases were higher in Friday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health.

The ADH report showed 3,124 new confirmed and probable cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 267,635. Active confirmed and probable cases rose by 873 to 25,613, and deaths rose by 35 to 4,263. Ventilator use fell by 15 to 226.

In this file photo, one dose of the vaccine is shown during a press conference Monday at the Arkansas Department of Health.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An estimated 443,000 additional Arkansans will be eligible to begin getting vaccinated for the coronavirus next week as the state moves into the next phase of inoculations. This group will include educators and those who are over the age of 70.

But many people are hesitant to get vaccinated because of potential side effects. UAMS said last week that among employees surveyed recently, 30% said they were reluctant to get a vaccine. Some people have also wondered if an employer can require them to get a vaccine.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Hospitalizations, ventilator use and active cases declined in Thursday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health, but the number of school districts with high infection rates among district residents again set a new record.

The ADH report showed 2,491 new confirmed and probable cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 264,511. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 355 to 24,740, and deaths rose by 42 to 4,228. Ventilator use fell by 14 to 241.

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

As Arkansas continues to see record numbers of patients hospitalized with COVID-19, the state's healthcare system is feeling the strain. 

An additional eight Arkansans were hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday, for a near-record total of 1,362. That also includes 255 total patients who are on a ventilator, an increase of four on Wednesday. 

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

While active COVID-19 cases declined, Wednesday’s Arkansas Department of Health report shows another 65 Arkansans died from the virus in the previous 24 hours.

The report showed 2,467 new confirmed and probable cases in the previous 24 hours, bringing the cumulative total to 262,020. Active confirmed and probable cases fell by 607 to 25,395, and deaths rose by 65 to 4,186.

Hospitalizations rose by 8 to 1,362. Monday’s number of 1,371 hospitalizations was a record. The ADH also reported 51 available ICU beds as of 2 p.m. Wednesday, down from 52 on Tuesday.

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.

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