(08/18/20) Hutchinson appreciates school efforts

(08/18/20)  Hutchinson appreciates schools efforts

The following statistics were shared Tuesday at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Blytheville and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:

  • 53,487 total confirmed cases, up 410 from 53,077 on Monday. 
  • 5,898 active cases, down 443 from Monday.
  • 46,970 recoveries, up 837 from Monday.
  • 619 deaths, up 16 from Monday.
  • 492 cases requiring hospitalization, up 16 from Monday.
  • 122 cases requiring a ventilator, up two from Monday. 
  • 1,201 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 19 from Monday.  
  • 239 active cases in Garland County, down one from Monday.  
  • 945 recoveries in Garland County, up 20 from Monday. 
  • 17 deaths in Garland County, no change from Monday.

In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases in Arkansas was 410, with 325 from the community and 85 from correctional facilities. Counties with the number of new cases higher than 20 in the past 24 hours are Sebastian (44), Pulaski (40) and Washington (29).

The number of tests completed in the past 24 hours was 4,675. 

Hutchinson voiced his excitement to see the schools in preparation for classes starting next week. He also expressed his appreciation to each of the schools commitment, knowing that there will be challenges ahead. The governor commented that the state’s plan to address equity in online instruction is to provide online instruction platform options for every student to have access to an online education. In combination with the Arkansas General Assembly, the State of Arkansas has devoted $24 million initially to rural broadband grants, which is including cities and towns in hard to reach broadband areas. Additionally, with support of the Arkansas Legislative Council, there will be $1 billion from the Arkansas funds to help broadband readily reach the rural locations.

Dr. Jennifer Dillaha of ADH reiterated that citizens need to take the virus seriously, as 619 deaths in Arkansas are too many. The important figure that should be celebrated is the 46,970 recoveries, which shows Arkansans working together to protect one another and make the communities as safe as possible.

Dillaha explained that an infected person can take up to 14 days to be ill and show symptoms. On average, a person develops symptoms within five or six days and can spread the virus one or two days prior to symptoms. Due to this, everyone should wear a mask. A healthy person’s body takes about ten days to clear the virus, which would need ten days of isolation. A person with health conditions or needing to be hospitalized require 20 days of isolation. 

Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) is the most accurate testing available. The difficulty of these tests are having to send the tests off to laboratories for testing, which could take a couple of days. 

The second test, which will be coming online soon, is called the antigen test. This test will be offered in clinics, doctor’s office, local health units, etc… that will be able to stick the test in to the machine and have results within 15 to 20 minutes. 

Antibody tests do not turn positive until the person starts to get well, which could be two to three weeks after the infection. 

Antigen tests are only available to individuals with symptoms. For individuals who believe they have been exposed, they will need to take a PCR test, unless symptoms are present.