(07/22/20) 30 new cases for Garland County

Total of 591 new cases statewide

The following statistics were shared Wednesday, July 22, at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Fayetteville at Washington Regional Medical Center and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website:

  • 35,240 total confirmed cases, up 591 from 34,655 on Tuesday.
  • 6,876 active cases, down 122 from Tuesday.
  • 27,990 recoveries, up 707 from Tuesday.
  • 380 deaths, up six from Tuesday.
  • 474 cases requiring hospitalization, down 14 from Tuesday.
  • 107 cases requiring a ventilator, down three from Tuesday.  
  • 499 cumulative cases in Garland County; today’s data not yet available.
  • 164 active cases in Garland County; today’s data not yet available.
  • 330 recoveries in Garland County; today’s data not yet available.
  • 5 deaths in Garland County; today’s data not yet available.

In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases was 591, with seven from correctional facilities and 584 from the community. The top counties with new cases were Pulaski (80), Benton (46), Washington (38), Craighead (33), Faulkner (30), Garland (30), Pope (24) and Crittenden (22). There was a total of 3,933 test results reported in the past 24 hours.

Hutchinson said he met with medical providers – nurses and doctors – who have been on the front line. “I just wanted the opportunity to thank them as healthcare workers for what they’re doing. And I just want everybody to know that I could see a lot of exhaustion and stress on their face. The stress of dealing with very seriously ill patients, watching some of them pass away in very lonely circumstances, it takes a toll on you emotionally, and I just wanted to thank them for what they’re doing to save lives and the difference they’re making,” he said.

Larry Shackelford, president and CEO of Washington Regional Medical System, echoed the governor’s comments. “They are tired. This has been an ongoing battle, and those frontline healthcare workers are out there every day making a difference, taking care of our patients,” he said. The National Guard workers on that arrived at their facility have allowed eight nurses to return to direct care from their call center, which in the first 15 days in July managed 15,825 calls. He said they saw a spike around a week and a half ago with more than 40 positive COVID patients in the hospital, 16 of which were on ventilators. In addition, they have seen a high number of ICU patients, he said. But they have been able to continue to do their core business and take care of COVID patients as well.

Eric Pianalto, president of Mercy Hospital Northwest Arkansas, also said it has been a very difficult time for all those in healthcare. “Our frontline staff, our doctors, our nurses, as they experience both a surge in COVID patients, very sick patients that they’re taking care of, but also we’ve seen large numbers of non-COVID very sick patients as a result of people delaying care,” he said. “So my first priority might be to continue to encourage people, if you’re sick, seek care at your doctor’s office, seek care at your hospital. Don’t delay; it’s much easier to take care of you in a non-emergency situation than in an emergency situation.” He said he is very pleased to see the numbers coming down from the peak of around 120 hospitalizations among all of Northwest Arkansas.

Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston reported that they have been able to start getting back to proactive recruitment, and recent expansion and investment announcements will total around 1,500 new jobs across the state. Numbers continue to trend down in the right direction for Unemployment Insurance with the recent number of continued claims at around 92,000 after weekly drops from the peak of 122,000 on May 9. This is the last week, ending July 25, of the extra $600 of Pandemic Unemployment Compensation that the federal government made available through the CARES Act. Preston said that Congress is looking at this in the new stimulus package, which is being debated in Washington this week. He said that fraud continues to be an issue among claims for Unemployment Insurance. They have hired additional personnel, and there are around 20,000 claims currently under review.