Arkansas COVID-19

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

Governor's Office

Arkansas’s health secretary believes the number of new coronavirus cases is currently at a rate where the state’s plan to reopen schools in over two weeks can still move forward. This statement comes as the state’s total number of COVID-19 cases passes 47,000.

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state added 735 new cases on Thursday. The total number of cases is now 47,028.

Governor's Office / YouTube

More than 500 Arkansans have died from COVID-19 since the pandemic began as the state records its fourth-highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced an additional 912 cases Wednesday. It brings the state’s total to 46,293, while an additional 18 deaths brings the death toll to 508.

Speaking in his daily briefing, Hutchinson said he’s authorized additional National Guard personnel to assist with coronavirus testing at the state’s correctional facilities.

Governor's Office

Around 27,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance claims and approximately 10,000 unemployment insurance claims in the state of Arkansas are currently on hold due to fraud concerns, according to the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said any fraudulent claims filed to the state will be turned over law enforcement and the FBI.

Governor's Office / YouTube

More than 2,000 Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus since last Friday as the state nears 500 deaths from COVID-19.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday the state saw 787 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 44,597. An additional 11 Arkansans died from COVID-19 for a death toll of 475.

Governor's Office / YouTube

High school football teams can begin no-contact practice in Arkansas starting next week as the total number of people to test positive for the coronavirus surpasses 42,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday the state saw 752 new COVID-19 cases, bringing the total to 42,511. An additional 11 Arkansans died from the disease for a death toll of 453.

Governor's Office

Arkansas has lifted a directive that required all patients about to undergo an elective surgery to get tested for COVID-19 beforehand. This decision comes as almost 800 more cases of the coronavirus were recorded on Thursday.  

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state added 791 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 41,559. Of those total cases, 6,580 are considered active.

During Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily briefing on the coronavirus on Thursday, acting Secretary of Health Dr. José Romero spoke on the decision to repeal the directive.

Governor's Office / YouTube

COVID-19 continues to spread within Arkansas correctional facilities as the state adds 787 new coronavirus cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday’s increase brought the state’s total to 40,968, while an additional six COVID-19 deaths brought the death toll to 434. Seven additional Arkansans were hospitalized with COVID-19 Wednesday for a total of 508, while the state had a total of 6,596 active cases of the disease.

Governor's Office

Arkansas has recorded its highest number of COVID-19 deaths in a single day as the total number of cases in the state surpasses 40,000.

The state saw 734 new cases Tuesday, according to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health. The total number of coronavirus cases in the state is now 40,181. Of those cases, 6,595 are considered active.

The state recorded 20 deaths from COVID-19, bring the total to 428. The number of Arkansans hospitalized with the virus is now 501 due to an increase of 12.

Arkansas Legislature

Following hours of debate, state lawmakers approved $23 million to go toward improving the Arkansas Department of Health’s efforts to track the spread of the coronavirus.

Members of the Arkansas Legislative Council on Tuesday approved two separate requests for federal CARES Act funds. One provides $7 million to the nonprofit Northwest Arkansas Council to enhance contact tracing, testing and outreach to the state’s Latinx and Marshallese populations.

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

As the coronavirus continues spreading through Arkansas, with daily records for new cases being repeatedly broken last week, more people are being tested for the virus. That’s causing longer lines at testing locations throughout the state.

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences reports it’s now averaging about 500 tests being conducted each weekday at its drive-thru triage in Little Rock, an increase of about 30% since the beginning of July.

Frontline healthcare workers there say the pace is taking a toll on the staff.

Governor's Office / YouTube

More than 4,200 Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past five days as the state’s total number of cases nears 40,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday the state saw 824 new coronavirus cases, bringing the total to 39,447. An additional seven Arkansans have died from COVID-19, bringing the death toll to 408.

Speaking in his daily briefing on the pandemic, Hutchinson announced $10 million in federal funds will go toward providing take-home WiFi access points to students once the school year begins.

Daniel Breen / KUAR News

Even in the middle of the coronavirus pandemic, construction of the new Arkansas Arts Center building in MacArthur Park is still ongoing and according to the center, on schedule. KUAR spoke with Dr. Victoria Ramirez, executive director of the Arkansas Arts Center about the continued work. Below is a transcript of the aired conversation.

npr.org

When the coronavirus pandemic first reached Arkansas in mid-March, Alma Mayor Jerry Martin took action.

“When I thought about it, it would be best for our employees to go ahead and furlough now while they could take advantage of the unemployment setup the way that it was, than to wait until September, October and us be at a place where it looked like we were going to have a hard time making payroll and paying bills,” Martin said.

SNAP supplemental nutrition assistance program
meatpoultry.com

A new report says the number of food-insecure Arkansas children and adults is rising during the COVID-19 pandemic, more Arkansans are receiving federal nutrition benefits, and the state should make policy changes such as removing the asset limit for eligibility.

Arkansas Advocates for Children and Families made that argument in its new report, “Food Insecurity in Arkansas,” written by Laura Kellams, Northwest Arkansas director.

Governor's Office / YouTube

In just two days, Arkansas has seen its first and second-highest daily increases in the number of new coronavirus cases among non-incarcerated people as nearly 400 people in the state have died and nearly 500 are hospitalized with COVID-19.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Friday the state saw 990 new coronavirus cases, one day after the state saw an increase of 1,013 new cases. Friday’s increase brought the state’s total number of cases to 37,249, while an additional eight deaths due to COVID-19 brought the death toll to 394.

Governor's Office

Arkansas reported over 1,000 new cases of the coronavirus Thursday. It is the second highest number of cases recorded in the state total, and the highest recorded of non-incarcerated people.

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state recorded 1,013 daily cases, bringing the total number of cases in the state to 36,259. Of those cases, 7,009 of them are considered active, with 146 in nursing homes.

Currently, 14 counties in Arkansas have 112 or more active cases of COVID-19.

Jason Rapert Ten 10 Commandments
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

An Arkansas state senator is in the hospital after testing positive for the coronavirus.

Sen. Jason Rapert on Thursday said in a statement provided by the Senate that he was hospitalized after being diagnosed with pneumonia and testing positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The statement said Rapert was responding well to treatment.

Rapert is a 48-year-old Republican who has served in the Senate since 2011. Last year he announced he was seeking the GOP nomination for lieutenant governor in 2022.

Governor's Office

The total number of coronavirus cases in Arkansas has surpassed 35,000 as the number of hospitalizations dropped one day after reaching a new highest peak.

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state added 591 new COVID-19 cases. While this number is lower than previous days, the amount of testing also decreased. The total number of cases is now 35,246, while the total number of active cases is 6,876.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas’s governor says he remains committed to opening schools in late August as the coronavirus continues to spread in the state.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday an additional 728 Arkansans tested positive for the virus, bringing the state’s total to 34,655. The state’s COVID-19 death toll rose by 11 to 374. Speaking in his daily briefing on the pandemic, Hutchinson said K-12 students will still return to in-class instruction in just over a month.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas’s governor says he is sending National Guard personnel to assist with an influx of COVID-19 patients at a northwest Arkansas hospital.

This comes as another 699 positive cases of the coronavirus were reported Monday bringing the state’s total to 33,927, and an additional six COVID-19 deaths brought the death toll to 363.

Speaking in his daily briefing on the pandemic, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said he’s authorized 10 National Guard members to assist with case management at Washington Regional Medical Center in Fayetteville for the next 30 days.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas’s governor says it’s up to local law enforcement agencies to decide whether to enforce a statewide order for Arkansans to wear face masks.

This comes as the state saw 648 new coronavirus cases Friday bringing the total to 31,762, and 12 additional COVID-19 deaths for a total of 353.

Governor's Office

Arkansans across the state will soon be required to wear face masks to prevent the spread of COVID-19 due to a mandate issued by the governor on Thursday. This comes as the state experienced its third highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases since the beginning of the pandemic. 

The mandate goes into effect on Monday and will expire once the state of emergency concerning the pandemic ends. Currently that public health emergency is set to expire in just over two weeks, though it could be extended again.

education schools
arkansas.gov

The Arkansas Education Association’s survey of members finds that a supermajority of respondents are concerned about reopening schools this fall in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The survey, released Wednesday, fielded more than 6,100 responses from members with more than 88% being from teachers. Of those teachers, roughly 44% are from the elementary level, 20% teach middle school, 27% cover high school grades, and 9% were classified as other.

Governor's Office

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

Updated at 5 p.m. ET

Walmart says shoppers must wear masks inside its stores starting Monday — the largest retailer to join a growing list of companies making face covering mandatory across the nation.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Nearly 800 more Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus as the state’s total number of cases approaches 30,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday an increase of 794 new cases brought the state’s total to 29,733, while eight more Arkansans died from COVID-19 for a death toll of 331.

Speaking in his daily briefing, Hutchinson said the state Health Department plans to double its testing capacity in an effort to mitigate delays in receiving results from commercial labs.

Former U.S. Senator David Pryor (center) at a KUAR-hosted discussion on Oct. 4, 2017 at the main branch of the Central Arkansas Library System.
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

The family of David Pryor, a former Arkansas governor and U.S. senator, says he's hospitalized in Little Rock after testing positive for COVID-19.

The family's statement said David Pryor and his wife Barbara Pryor both received positive test results Friday. Barbara Pryor, who didn’t have symptoms, is quarantining at home but David Pryor, who is 85 and a stroke and heart attack survivor, was admitted Saturday to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

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

More than 2,000 Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus since Friday with a record-breaking uptick in new cases over the weekend.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the state saw 572 new cases Monday bringing the state’s total to 28,939, while an increase of two COVID-19 deaths brought the state’s death toll to 323.

Speaking in his daily briefing on the pandemic, Hutchinson again resisted calls for a statewide order to require Arkansans to wear face masks in public.

University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences UAMS
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

UAMS Chancellor Dr. Cam Patterson has been through a health crisis before. When he was entering the medical field in the late 80’s, the country was awakening to the HIV epidemic. Today, the COVID-19 pandemic is moving more rapidly and affecting many more people in Arkansas and across the globe.

With the state recording its highest one-day number of COVID-19 cases – 1,061 on Saturday – Patterson said it’s time for a statewide mask mandate.

Governor's Office / YouTube

The daily increase in new coronavirus cases in Arkansas has had its third-highest spike since the pandemic began as more than 400 COVID-19 patients are hospitalized with the disease.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced 751 Arkansans tested positive for the coronavirus Friday for a total of 26,803, while the state’s COVID-19 death toll rose by four to 313. The number of Arkansans hospitalized with COVID-19 increased by 8 to 402, with 84 patients on a ventilator.

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