Arkansas COVID-19

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

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.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Reducing the number of COVID-19 patients in Arkansas hospitals depends on how Arkansans follow health safety protocols during the Thanksgiving holiday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Monday in conjunction with the Arkansas Department of Health daily COVID report.

The report showed that hospitalizations rose by 12 to 974, and COVID patients on ventilators rose by one to 164. The number of active cases fell to 13,252, down from the 13,714 on Sunday.

Governor's Office

Gov. Asa Hutchinson says he does not plan to shut down schools or businesses despite rising numbers among COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths.

On Friday, the governor reported 2,061 new confirmed and probable cases, 36 more hospitalizations, and 24 more deaths.

In an interview with Talk Business & Politics for Sunday’s TV show, Hutchinson said it would not be fair to business owners who have followed state health directives and have worked to keep their facilities safe.

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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, seen here last October.
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.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson shows a graph during Tuesday's press briefing of increasing coronavirus cases in Arkansas.
Governor's Office

A report from the White House Coronavirus Task Force released Tuesday says the pandemic is rapidly getting worse in Arkansas. It said considering the higher infection rate in the past two weeks, “Arkansas is on the precipice of a rapid, accelerating increase in cases, which will be followed with new hospital admissions.”

Nice-Pak company officials announced Monday they will be doubling production capacity at their Jonesboro facility that makes disinfectant wet wipes.
Nice-Pak

A company that produces disinfectant wet wipes is expanding its facility in northeast Arkansas. Gov. Asa Hutchinson joined Nice-Pak officials online Monday to make the announcement. The New York-based company is among the world’s largest wet wipes producers.

Chairman and CEO Robert Julius says the Jonesboro facility has shifted to around-the-clock operations to meet rising demand amid the pandemic. Even prior to the pandemic, the company employed about 400 people at the plant.

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

COVID-19 cases on Monday again topped 1,000 with a record 12,490 active cases and a record daily death number of 42, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. Total confirmed and probable cases rose by 1,308 to 134,348, and confirmed and probable deaths rose by 42 to 2,225.

A $50 million grant program for hospitality and service sector businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic launches and state government leaders expect to make grant awards in late December.

Stacy Hurst, Arkansas Secretary for Parks, Heritage and Tourism, said the grants will hopefully help those hard-hit businesses stay alive until COVID-19 is under control.

nbcnews.com

Arkansas’s Republican Governor says President Donald Trump should begin the transition process to the administration of president-elect Joe Biden.

Speaking on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he expects Biden to be the next president of the United States.

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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.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Almost any COVID-19 metric in Arkansas has in recent days set a new record, with the trend showing no sign of improving. But Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he is not considering new rules to stem the spread, saying instead that existing rules, when followed, are enough.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Arkansas continued setting records for the coronavirus pandemic Monday, with the number of one-day new hospitalizations and active cases. The two records are not a surprise considering the high number of new daily COVID cases reported in recent days.

Monday’s report by the state Department of Health showed an increase of 45 hospitalizations to 786. The number of active cases reaching 9,957, up from 9,833 on Sunday.

Thousands Of Unemployment Claims Remain Locked By The State

Nov 9, 2020
Matt White

When Rebecca Towne was laid off April 15 from her job as a tax preparer for Jackson Hewitt, she figured she would find another job. Like many Arkansans, she’d never drawn unemployment in her life and didn’t plan to start then.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

A record number of new COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were reported Friday by the Arkansas Department of Health. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the rise in numbers is worrisome in terms of stress on the state’s hospitals.

There were 1,870 confirmed and probable known COVID cases in the ADH report, with the cumulative total reaching 119,320. Confirmed and probable death rose by 19 to 2,056.

Arkansas Department of Health
KATV-Channel 7

Arkansas set another record for daily reported known COVID-19 cases and deaths rose again by double digits. Thursday’s (Nov. 5) report from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) showed that almost 50% of confirmed cases came from just five counties.

The ADH reported 1,548 confirmed and probable cases, with the cumulative total reaching 117,360. Confirmed and probable deaths rose by 11 to reach 2,037. Pulaski, Benton, Washington, Sebastian and Craighead counties accounted for 48.66% of the 1,048 confirmed community cases.

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

Grim COVID-19 milestones continue in Arkansas, with the Arkansas Department of Health on Monday reporting record hospitalizations and patients on ventilators of 688 and 112, respectively. Hospital numbers rose by 33 and ventilator use rose by 12.

The number of known confirmed and probable cumulative cases rose by 584 to 113,641. Total deaths rose by 27 to 1,985.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he will on Tuesday discuss his “winter strategy” to respond to the pandemic.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Arkansas health officials reported 867 new cases of COVID-19 Sunday and 33 more deaths from the disease caused by the new coronavirus.

The Arkansas Department of Health reported 757 confirmed cases and 110 probably cases. That raised the state’s totals to 113,057 probable and confirmed case and 1,791 deaths since the outbreak struck at the start of March.

Arkansas Educators Hit Hard By COVID-19, New Figures Show

Oct 30, 2020
Arkansas Nonprofit News Network

Since Aug. 24, approximately 2,060 Arkansas public school teachers and staff have tested positive for the coronavirus that causes COVID-19, according to the Arkansas Department of Health. At least 60 have been hospitalized, 14 have landed in an intensive care unit and seven have been placed on ventilators. Six have died, according to health department data and news reports.

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

A study is underway by the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences on who is being infected in the state by the coronavirus. Researchers are using blood samples from a control group to better understand how widespread the virus has become.

Early results suggest 3.5% of Arkansas residents have been infected. The study also shows minority groups across the state are disproportionately impacted.

UAMS covid-19 coronavirus
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

COVID-19 hospitalizations set a new daily record and Arkansans on ventilators jumped back above 100 in Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health. Gov. Asa Hutchinson said the numbers are “somber reminders” of the pandemic’s reach.

Confirmed and probable known cumulative cases totaled 106,727 on Monday, up 612 cases. COVID deaths numbered 1,833, up 21. With 16 more Arkansans hospitalized because of the virus, the number in hospitals reached a daily record of 649.

Hutchinson said Arkansans need to prepare for what could be a “challenging winter.”

An Arkansas state senator has tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the 7th virus case among lawmakers in the past week. Sen. Cecile Bledsoe tested positive Sunday for the virus. That's according to Senate President Jim Hendren. Bledsoe is the late
Arkansas Senate

An Arkansas state senator has tested positive for the coronavirus, marking the 7th virus case among lawmakers in the past week.

Sen. Cecile Bledsoe tested positive Sunday for the virus. That's according to Senate President Jim Hendren.

Bledsoe is the latest lawmaker to test positive in an outbreak that prompted a halt to budget hearings last week. Bledsoe co-chairs the Joint Budget Committee and the Legislative Council.

She's the mother of state Surgeon General Greg Bledsoe.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Arkansas set another daily record Friday with 1,337 new known COVID-19 cases reported by the Arkansas Department of Health. The daily tally pushes the cumulative number of confirmed and antigen-positive cases to 104,135.

Friday’s report also included a rise in active cases, deaths, hospitalizations and ventilator use.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson urged Arkansans to avoid gatherings in which people aren’t wearing masks or practicing social distancing.

Vendors were setting up for last year's Arkansas State Fair on Oct. 8, 2019. While the fair is not be taking place this year, people can still come to the state fairgrounds this weekend to enjoy eating traditional fair favorites.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The Arkansas State Fair is one of many events that have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic. But an alternate event is being hosted this weekend at the state fairgrounds where people can eat their favorite fair foods.

The fair's Director of Sales and Promotions Will Hornburg said he wanted to have an event where people could come out and enjoy food, while also giving vendors the opportunity to generate business since they’ve been severely impact by the outbreak.

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).

Governor's Office

The total number of COVID-19 cases in Arkansas has surpassed the 100,000 mark as the state added over 800 cases Tuesday. 

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state added a total of 844 new coronavirus cases, with 628 of them confirmed and 216 probable. The cumulative total of COVID-19 cases in Arkansas is now 100,441.

During his weekly briefing on the coronavirus pandemic, Gov. Asa Hutchinson also announced that he was limiting meetings and appearances after a possible exposure to the coronavirus during a meeting last Friday.

Corona
U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention

Arkansas saw its highest-ever single-day increase in new coronavirus cases Thursday with 1,278 people testing positive. 

The surge was followed by a second day of more than 1,000 new COVID-19 cases in the state, with 1,015 positive test results recorded on Friday. 

Both increases bring the state's total number of COVID-19 infections to 97,539, with 8,609 cases considered active. The state's death toll from the disease has risen to 1,665 resulting from 11 new deaths on Thursday and 20 on Friday. 

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announcing Wednesday that Arkansas will be able to expand testing for the coronavirus as it acquires a large number of Abbot BinaxNOW rapid antigen test kits.
Governor's Office

Arkansas is getting a large supply of antigen test kits which will greatly expand the screening of individuals who are in positions that put them at a high risk of catching the coronavirus.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday that the state has received 100,000 Abbott BinaxNOW rapid antigen tests and will get an additional 50,000 per week until it reaches a planned allotment of 900,000. The test kits provide results within 15 minutes, which will allow health officials to take a new approach to screening.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen
Arkansas Times

An Arkansas judge has dismissed a lawsuit by a group of Republican legislators seeking to invalidate a mask mandate and other restrictions imposed because of the coronavirus pandemic.

Pulaski County Circuit Judge Wendell Griffen on Wednesday ruled that the directives issued by Republican Gov. Asa Hutchinson's administration are within the governor's authority under state law and legislative rules.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, seen here last October.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

COVID-19 hospitalizations jumped above 600 in Monday’s report from the Arkansas Department of Health. The number of active cases and Arkansans on ventilators also rose, with total known cumulative cases topping 93,000.

Hospitalizations rose by 32 to tally 608. The number of total cases – those confirmed by PCR (polymerase chain reaction) tests and antigen tests – was 93,487 on Monday, up 654 from Sunday.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a statement that the rising number of people in hospitals is straining the system, but that hospitals around the state have enough beds.

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