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Coronavirus in Arkansas: Governor announces total COVID-19 cases in state surpass 10,000

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PINE BLUFF, Ark.- Governor Asa Hutchinson announced Tuesday the number of total coronavirus cases has surpassed 10,000.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there are 10,080 total COVID-19 cases and 161 deaths in the state, according to Governor Asa Hutchinson.

That is an increase of 340 cases and six deaths from Monday.

Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said 34 of the 340 new cases are in correctional institutions.

According to Smith, there are 3,044 active cases in Arkansas. Dr. Smith said 141 of the active cases are in nursing homes and 139 are in correctional facilities.

According to state officials, 173 people are in the hospital due to COVID-19. That two more than Monday.

Dr. Smith said 44 people are on a ventilator, which is two less than Monday.

State officials say 84% of the cases in the southeast region have died. According to state officials, that’s five times the rate than the rest of the state. Most of those cases were in nursing homes, according to state officials.

Smith said 6,875 people have recovered in Arkansas.

Governor Hutchinson said 4,849 tests were done on Monday.

Dr. Smith said so far in June, 28,862 tests have been completed.

State officials say the state is on target for the goal of 120,000 tests completed in June.

Governor Hutchinson said there have been 694 tests per 10,000 people in southeast Arkansas and 565 tests per 10,000 across the state.

According to the governor, Arkansas’s positivity rate remains below 10%, which is the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. The governor said the state was around 7% Monday.

The governor said he didn’t think the second wave in Arkansas would be this big. Hutchinson also said he thought the second wave wouldn’t happen until the fall.

The governor said many states have two peaks like Arkansas.

The governor said he’s seeing a different pattern for different regions of the state.

The governor was in Pine Bluff Tuesday for a conversation with educators and Mayor Shirley Washington.

During the news conference, the governor recognized his family doctor, Dr. Raymond Hull, who passed away due to COVID-19.

When asked about a letter from St. Rep. Dan Sullivan (R-Jonesboro) saying his area of the state will open up no matter what on Friday, Governor Hutchinson said he receives many letters on both sides. The governor said he and Dr. Smith will make decisions based on data. Hutchinson said if a business has a license and they go against the state’s guidance, it could cause their license to be pulled.

The governor said there will be an announcement Wednesday about when and how we will enter phase two.

You can watch the full news conference above.

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