615 PCR and 156 antigen positive COVID-19 tests

9-2-20 ADH daily graphicThe following statistics were shared Tuesday, Sept. 2, at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Little Rock and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s (ADH) website:

  • 62,112 total confirmed cases, up 615 from 61,497 on Tuesday. 
  • 5,010 active cases, down 26 from Tuesday.
  • 56,261 recoveries, up 614 from Tuesday.
  • 841 deaths, up 27 from Tuesday (13 were delayed reporting).
  • 435 cases requiring hospitalization, up 12 from Tuesday.
  • 85 cases requiring a ventilator, down two from Tuesday. 
  • 1,434 cumulative cases in Garland County.*
  • 133 active cases in Garland County.*
  • 1,272 recoveries in Garland County*.
  • 29 deaths in Garland County.*

* Wednesday’s Garland County data not yet made available on ADH COVID dashboard.

In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases in Arkansas was 615, with 258 from the community and 15 from correctional facilities. Counties with the number of new cases higher than 20 in the past 24 hours include Washington with 67, Pulaski with 62, Benton with 60, Craighead with 49, Garland with 26, Saline with 21, and Mississippi with 20. 

The number of tests completed in the past 24 hours was 4,773. There were also 590 antigen tests, of which 156 were positive, making the antigen test positivity rate 26.4% in the past 24 hours. Moving forward, the total number of antigen tests and positive results will be reported regularly to the public and to the CDC. The CDC considers a positive antigen test as a “probable case” if it has not been confirmed by a PCR test. ADH considers a positive antigen test as a “real case” because of the antigen tests high accuracy rate on positive results. Therefore, AHD does all appropriate contact tracing on these positive results just as is done with positive PCR tests, according to Dr. Jennifer Dillaha.

Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero said they continue to see more cases on college campuses across the state. To college students, he said: “I want to remind you that you can control this growing number. You can control it through the measures that we’ve discussed many, many times from this podium – that is the use of masks; the social distancing that has been advised and hand sanitation; avoiding large crowds, large parties.” 

Hutchinson discussed the CDC moratorium on evictions for non-payment of rent due to COVID-related reasons, which is being enacted to reduce homelessness and the spread of the virus. It becomes official on Sept. 4, 2020, and requires tenants to present an affidavit stating their income is not sufficient to pay rent for COVID reasons. He made a point that this moratorium does not relieve the tenants from having to pay rent or from property owners from issuing late fees. Hutchinson encouraged tenants with COVID-related financial issues to go to their local community action agency or non-profit groups because these agencies have some funds for rental assistance, including $4.8 million from the Department of Human Services. 

Secretary Johnny Key explained that the U.S. Department of Agriculture is extending waivers through Dec. 31, 2020, to allow flexibilities for school districts to serve meals to all students at no cost. It also allows meals to be served outside normal group settings and meal times and for parents/guardians to pick up meals for their students. Key said it is imperative that parents/guardians still work with their districts to complete and submit the meal applications because of other state/federal funding streams that are tied to the free and reduced meal percentages. 

The Arkansas Department of Finance’s monthly revenue report that was released today showed that the state’s August net available revenue was $41 million above forecasts. The year-to-date net available revenue for the two months into this fiscal year was $93.7 million above forecasts. The governor credited these figures to people “having confidence in going back to work” and in “doing consumer purchasing.” He said that although this is good news, “we will continue to keep a tight rein on the budget because these are uncertain times.”