Coronavirus in Arkansas: Gov. Hutchinson to give an update on state’s response

Regional News

Gov. Hutchinson spoke Thursday on the rising numbers in COVID-19 cases and what the state is doing to alleviate the issue that has skyrocketed since Halloween in the state.

The White House released a report today talking about the increase in cases for the state. Governor Hutchinson said, “We have to be mindful that if we continue at this pace a thousand more Arkansans might die before Christmas.” Dr. Jose Romero with the Arkansas Department of Health equated it to a boulder rolling down a hill that cannot stop.

Gov. Hutchinson said we currently have 16,576 active cases in the state, with 1,554 added in the past 24 hours. 

20 more deaths, taking total deaths for the state to 2,245, adding that most of the latest deaths are from nursing homes. We have gone above the 10% positivity rate.

The top counties with new cases in the past 24 hours are Pulaski (148), Washington (133), Benton (102).

There were 7,452 PCR tests and 3,234 antigen tests yesterday.

The Department of Health has completed 3,500 compliance checks and Alcoholic Beverage Control has done 3,700 inspections of restaurants and bars with 93% being good.  They’ve cited 181 since June, with 210 verbal warnings.  Mike Moore with ABC said that 7% of non-compliance can cause real problems and that there is going to be more accountability soon because they’ve been giving warnings for months.   

Secretary of Education Johnny Key said there has been a significant rise in onsite modifications with 16 schools adding to the current 72.

The White House report suggested pausing athletic events, with the Governor saying he doesn’t plan on doing so currently, but that they are looking for better ways to control the environment.

The Report also suggested reducing restaurants to 25% capacity, but Gov. Hutchinson says if we do that it will close businesses and will put a lot of people out of work.

The Governor also added that he will personally only have 7 people at his house this Thanksgiving.

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