(08/05/20) State's death toll tops 500

The following statistics were shared Wednesday, August 5, at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Little Rock and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website:

  • 46,293 total confirmed cases, up 912 from 45,381 on Tuesday. 
  • 6,937 active cases, up 46 from Tuesday.
  • 38,848 recoveries, up 848 from Tuesday.
  • 508 deaths, up 18 from Tuesday.
  • 516 cases requiring hospitalization, down 10 from Tuesday.
  • 106 cases requiring a ventilator, up five from Tuesday.  
  • 910 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 31 from Tuesday.  
  • 209 active cases in Garland County, up 12 from Tuesday.
  • 693 recoveries in Garland County, up 46 from Tuesday.  
  • 8 deaths in Garland County, no change from Tuesday.

In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases in Arkansas was 912, with 754 from the community and 158 from correctional facilities. The governor shared the top counties for today’s new case counts, which included Chicot with 149, Pulaski with 79, Sebastian with 51, Washington with 42, Mississippi with 35, Garland with 29, Craighead with 28, Saline with 26, Pope with 24, Ashley with 21, Crittenden with 21 and Benton with 20. 

The number of tests completed in the past 24 hours was 5,077. 

Hutchinson shared that UAMS modeling projects 55,000 total cases by August 10, “which is not that far away,” as well as 3,686 cumulative hospitalizations and 543 cumulative deaths from COVID-19. Hutchinson shared this to encourage the continued use of face masks and social distancing to “see what we can do to beat those projections.”

The governor was also pleased to announce a plan to test 100% of inmates in all 19 state prison facilities by the end of August. At this point, all of the inmates in 10 of the facilities have already been tested. As a part of this effort, 10 National Guard personnel have been authorized to assist as medical clinicians to assist in the collection of the samples. 

Secretary of Education Johnny Key announced a Ready for Learning Resource Call Center, 1-833-353-6050, which opened on August 3 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday through Friday. It is available for parents and teachers to be able to call with questions about the reopening of schools. 

The Arkansas Department of Health has put on their website the new directives and guidelines for school-sponsored music, band and choir. 

Dr. Jose Romero has been named the permanent, cabinet-level Secretary of Health. Romero was serving as the Interim Secretary of Health following the departure of Dr. Nate Smith for his new role with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Romero moved to Arkansas as director of pediatric infectious disease at UAMS in 2008. He also serves as chair of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) for the CDC.