Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 10,368; state moving to Phase 2 on June 15

(06/10/20)  Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 10,368; state moving to Phase 2 on June 15  The following stats were shared Wednesday at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Little Rock and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website:

  • 10,368 total confirmed cases, up 288 from 10,080 on Tuesday.
  • 3,087 active cases, up 43 from Tuesday.
  • 7,116 recoveries, up 241 from Tuesday.
  • 165 deaths, up four from Tuesday.
  • 181 cases requiring hospitalization, up eight from Tuesday.
  • 49 cases on a ventilator, up five from Tuesday.
  • 493 cases among nursing homes, up five from Tuesday.
  • 150 cases in Garland County, up eight from Tuesday.
  • 134 recoveries in Garland County, up one from Tuesday.
  • 1 death in Garland County, no change from Tuesday.

Hutchinson announced that the state, as a whole, will move into Phase 2 effective Monday, June 15. He noted that Arkansas has already adopted many of the guidelines for Phase 2 of the White House’s Reopening America Again framework. This move will allow expanded capacity from 33% to 66% for restaurants, gyms, and other indoor facilities that can still maintain six-foot distancing.

The governor lifted public health restrictions so the state could go into Phase 1 on May 4. Hutchinson explained that Arkansas has had an experience that has been the same as many other states – more testing and an increase in the number of cases. “Americans are on the move and they can’t be tied down, and they can’t be restrained, unless they make a voluntary decision that this is right for me, my health and my family,” he said. “While they don’t want the government telling them what to do, they do understand the risk and they stay at home when need be, and just like others they take precaution when they go out.”

He shared again that data coming in from contact tracing show that the COVID-19 growth rate in Arkansas is not the result of lifting restrictions “because the restaurants, the gyms, the barber shops and salons are taking precautions, and they value their patrons and they’re following the public health guidelines.”

“The gating criteria of the phases is based upon this supposition that we are all going to peak like New York or Louisiana did…versus multiple smaller spikes or peaks like we have in Arkansas,” he added. “We continue to fight the virus, we continue to take it seriously, and we understand its seriousness as reflected in the data that we see today. We are still in the heart of the woods; we are not out of the woods.”

He is also continuing the emergency order that would have expired in mid-June for another 45 days. They will be providing additional Department of Health support for Benton and Washington counties in the form of surge capacity, which can be shifted across the state as needed.

Of the 288 new cases, 228 are from the community and 60 are from correctional facilities. Of the active cases, there is a total of 2,750 in the community. Testing continues to be at a higher volume with 4,420 results processed from the past 24 hours. Dr. Nate Smith showed a statewide county map illustrating the counties with the higher number of active cases per capita and explained that we have activity, or community cases, throughout the state. “All of us need to take the proper precautions – wear a mask when physical distancing cannot be maintained, wash hands and avoid large crowds,” he said.

The counties with the highest number of new cases are Pulaski (51), Washington (44), Benton (37), Crittenden (16), Sevier (15) and Craighead (13).