Arkansas COVID-19

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

University of Arkansas Chancellor Joe Steinmetz
Talk Business & Politics

Will there be college football this fall?

It’s a question fans are asking and decision-makers are discussing at several levels daily throughout the country.

Some smaller dominoes are already falling. The Ivy League, Bloomberg reported, canceled sports competition for the upcoming semester because of health and safety concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic, becoming the first NCAA Division I conference in the U.S. to scrap football.

Governor's Office / YouTube

The date for K-12 students to return to school in Arkansas has been pushed back as the state sees its second-highest daily increase in new coronavirus cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Thursday an increase of 806 new cases brought the state’s total to 26,052, while four new COVID-19 deaths brought the death toll to 309. Arkansas had its highest-ever increase in people hospitalized with the disease, rising by 36 for a total of 394.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas has seen its second-largest spike in new coronavirus cases following two days of decreasing numbers of people testing positive.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday 734 people in the state had tested positive, bringing the total to 25,246. Four more Arkansans died from the disease, bringing the death toll to 305.

Speaking in the governor’s daily briefing on the pandemic, Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said new case growth in Arkansas is being driven by spread among the general public.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Despite seeing two days in a row of declining daily increases in new coronavirus cases, Arkansas has seen its largest single-day increase in people hospitalized with COVID-19.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday an additional 32 Arkansans had been hospitalized, while 259 people testing positive for the coronavirus brought the state’s total to 24,512. The number of Arkansans hospitalized rose to 369, while the state’s COVID-19 death toll increased by nine to 301.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Over 1,500 people in Arkansas have tested positive for the coronavirus since Friday as the state’s death toll from COVID-19 nears 300.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday that Arkansas saw 439 new cases, bringing the state’s total to 24,253, while five more deaths from COVID-19 brought the state’s death toll to 292.

In his daily briefing, Hutchinson said the state has entered the first of two contracts to increase the number of people working to track the spread of the coronavirus.

Dr. Joe Thompson
Arkansas Center for Health Improvement

Former Arkansas Surgeon General Dr. Joe Thompson praised recent efforts by Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state health officials to curb the spread of COVID-19, but said even more steps need to be taken.

NBC's Andrea Mitchell questions Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson about the coronavirus pandemic Sunday on "Meet the Press."
NBC News

If President Donald Trump decides to hold a campaign rally in Arkansas, the state will insist that all participants are socially distanced and wear masks to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Sunday.

Hutchison’s comments on NBC’s “Meet the Press” follow Trump rallies in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and at an Arizona megachurch, as well as an Independence Day celebration at Mount Rushmore, where most of the thousands of participants flouted public safety guidelines on maintaining a safe distance and wearing masks.

Governor's Office / YouTube

After resisting calls for a statewide order for Arkansans to wear face masks in public, Gov. Asa Hutchinson says individual cities can now enact similar measures.

The announcement comes as Arkansas saw 547 new coronavirus cases Friday bringing the state’s total to 22,622, while two additional COVID-19 deaths brought the death toll to 281.

Governor's Office

After what appeared to be the beginning a downward trend, Arkansas had its highest ever recording of new COVID-19 cases, with the total now surpassing 22,000.

The state saw 878 new cases, a number that more than doubles the number of new cases announced on Wednesday.  The total number of coronavirus cases is now 22,075.  Of the total number of cases, 6,098 are considered active, an increase from Wednesday, when the state saw its first day of fewer active cases in days.

Governor's Office

Arkansas appears to be on a downward trend of COVID-19 cases as the total number of cases falls short of 21,200.

According to numbers from the Arkansas Department of Health, the state saw a total of 420 new cases Wednesday, bringing the state’s total to 21,197. Of those cases, 5,757 are considered active. That’s a decrease of 219 compared to Tuesday’s numbers.

The number of Arkansans hospitalized also went down by 15 for a total of 275. The state did see an increase of seven in coronavirus deaths, with the total now 277.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas revenue has surpassed predictions revised because of the COVID-19 pandemic as the state sees another triple-digit increase in new coronavirus cases.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday the state saw 520 new coronavirus cases, bringing the state’s total to 20,777, while five more Arkansans died from COVID-19 bringing the state’s death toll to 270.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Over 1,500 Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus since last Friday, bringing the state’s total number of cases over 20,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday the state saw 439 new coronavirus cases bringing the state’s total to 20,257, while the state’s death toll from COVID-19 rose by one to 265.

Governor's Office / YouTube

For the sixth time this month, Arkansas has seen its largest single-day increase in non-incarcerated people testing positive for the coronavirus.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced 678 new cases brought the state’s total to 18,740, while the state’s COVID-19 death toll rose by seven to 249. The number of people in Arkansas hospitalized with the disease remained at 284.

UAMS
UAMS

The University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences announced Thursday it has developed and is using high-accuracy antibody testing to determine the magnitude of COVID-19 infection in Arkansas and inform the decisions of policymakers.

UAMS will collect blood samples from nearly 7,500 Arkansas adults and children through October. By early August, a robotic-assisted immunoassay machine will help process 2,500 samples per day for workplace, school and other community settings. UAMS researchers are now processing only up to 180 samples per day by hand.

Governor's Office

The number of active cases and hospitalizations due to COVID-19 continues to reach record highs in Arkansas, as the number of total cases surpasses 18,000.

According to the Arkansas Health Department, the state saw 687 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 18,062. Of those total cases, 5,695 are considered active. That’s the fourth highest number of daily cases the state has recorded.  96 of the new cases were from Washington County, while 45 were from Benton County and 44 from Pulaski County.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas has seen its third-largest daily increase in new coronavirus cases as the state plans to roughly quadruple the number of people working to track the spread of COVID-19.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday the state saw 697 new coronavirus cases for a total of 17,375, while three COVID-19 deaths brought the state’s death toll to 240.

Speaking in his daily briefing, Hutchinson announced he’s directed the state Health Department to increase the number of contact tracers by 700 by late summer.

Governor's Office / YouTube

The coronavirus continues to spread in Arkansas correctional facilities as the state sees another triple-digit increase in new cases.

According to the state Health Department, the state saw 595 new cases Tuesday bringing the total to 16,678, while 10 more Arkansans died from COVID-19 for a total of 237 deaths.

Central Arkansas Library System

Though the Central Arkansas Library System is in the middle of reopening all of its branches since closing them in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, patrons visiting their local branch will see some changes.

Monday, June 22, marked week three of CALS's reopening strategy, with the Children’s, Thompson and Williams libraries opening for the first time. The system’s largest branches, the Terry and Main libraries will open last on June 29.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Nearly 1,500 Arkansans have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past three days, bringing the state’s total number of cases over 16,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday the state saw an additional 522 cases for a total of 16,083, as well as two more COVID-19 deaths for a death toll of 227. Speaking in his daily briefing, Hutchinson said the state continues to take seriously the threat the virus poses.

Governor's Office / YouTube

For the third time in just over one week, Arkansas has seen its largest single-day increase in new coronavirus cases among non-incarcerated people.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced 703 people tested positive Friday including 41 inmates of correctional facilities, bringing the state’s total to 14,631. An additional six deaths from COVID-19 increased the state’s death toll to 214.

Speaking in his daily briefing, Hutchinson said he still does not support any statewide measure requiring Arkansans to wear face masks in public.

Governor's Office

Arkansas’ governor is extending the state’s public health emergency for an additional 45 days as the state continues to see more cases of the coronavirus.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the state saw 322 new cases of COVID-19 Thursday, bringing the state’s total to 13,928. 11 more people have died from the coronavirus as well. The state’s death count is now at 208.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Starting next month, visitors will be allowed in Arkansas nursing homes and long-term care facilities after being prohibited since March due to the coronavirus pandemic. Speaking in his daily briefing, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in-person visits can resume on July 1 at facilities where all residents and staff have been tested for COVID-19.

The announcement came the same day that Arkansas reported 415 additional people had tested positive for the coronavirus, bringing the state’s total to 13,606. An increase of nine new deaths from the disease brought the state’s death toll to 197.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansans collecting unemployment benefits must now prove they’re searching for a job as the state’s total number of coronavirus cases surpasses 13,000.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday that the state had an additional 274 people test positive bringing the total to 13,191, while six more deaths from COVID-19 brought the death toll to 188.

Holding his daily briefing in Hot Springs, Hutchinson said the growth in new cases continues to vary by region, which could merit some business restrictions being reinstated.

Governor's Office / YouTube

With the state entering a second phase of easing business restrictions related to the coronavirus pandemic, Arkansas’s governor has enacted new protections shielding businesses and healthcare providers from lawsuits related to COVID-19.

During his daily briefing Monday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced that the state saw 416 new cases, bringing the total to 12,917, with three additional deaths from COVID-19, bringing the state’s death toll to 182. Monday’s uptick follows an increase of 954 new cases since last Friday.

David Monteith / KUAR News

Despite Arkansas seeing a record number of COVID-19 cases, the state is moving on to Phase Two of reopening, guided by the Trump Administration's Opening Up America Again Guidelines. Under Phase Two, which began Monday restaurants are allowed to operate at two-thirds capacity for dine-in services. Not all restaurants are eager to reopen however.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas has once again seen its largest daily increase in new coronavirus cases, due in large part to a resurgence of infections in Arkansas prisons and in poultry plants.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the increase of 731 new cases Friday bringing the state’s total to 11,547, while the state’s COVID-19 death toll rose to 176 after five more Arkansans died.

Governor's Office / YouTube

Arkansas saw its third highest number of new cases of COVID-19 on Thursday as the total number of cases in the state nears 11,000.

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, 448 new cases have been recorded. The total number of cases is now 10,816. Of those cases, 3,294 are considered active.

The total number of Arkansans hospitalized with COVID-19 is now 187. That’s an increase of six. 171 Arkansans have now died from the coronavirus, also an increase of six compared to yesterday.

Asa Hutchinson governor
Michael Hibblen / KUAR News

Gov. Asa Hutchinson remains immensely popular in Arkansas for his handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and his response to recent social unrest. His latest policy move bucks public sentiment and may dent his approval, but he has room to fall.

A new Talk Business & Politics-Hendrix College survey shows Hutchinson with a job approval rating three times higher than his disapproval rating. The poll was taken on Tuesday, June 9 and Wednesday, June 10 of 869 statewide likely voters and has a margin of error of +/-3.3%.

A guard holds a drink while prisoners work in the field behind him at the Cummins Unit. This photo is from 1975, when folklorist and documentarian Bruce Jackson gained rare photographic access to daily life at Cummins. In 2020, multiple Arkansas prisons s
Bruce Jackson - Used with permission

  

As of this week, COVID-19 has infected inmates in four Arkansas state prisons. The virus exploded at the Cummins Unit first, and quickly became one of the country’s largest known prison outbreaks.

Established in 1902, Cummins is the state’s oldest and largest prison. It is named after one of the slave plantations that was there before.

“I have a vivid memory of pulling up to the Cummins Unit,” said Kaleem Nazeem. He was convicted as a juvenile and spent 27 years in Arkansas prisons. 12 of those years were at the Cummins Unit.

Governor's Office / YouTube

With record numbers of active COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations, Arkansas is lifting more restrictions on businesses put in place due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Wednesday the state will move to Phase Two of the Trump Administration’s “Opening Up America Again” plan on Monday, June 15. This comes as an additional 288 Arkansans tested positive for the virus, while four more residents died from COVID-19.

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