Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 6,538; highest one-day jump, primarily in Hispanic population in NW AR

(05/28/20)  Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 6,538; highest one-day jump, primarily in Hispanic population in Northwest Arkansas  The following stats were shared Thursday at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Little Rock and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website:

  • 6,538 total confirmed cases, up 261 from 6,277 on Wednesday.
  • 1,830 active cases, up 97 from Wednesday.
  • 4.583 recoveries, up 159 from Wednesday.
  • 125 deaths, up five from Wednesday.
  • 104 cases requiring hospitalization, down four from Wednesday.
  • 27 cases on a ventilator, up five from Wednesday.
  • 372 cases involving nursing home residents, up eight from Wednesday.
  • 135 cases in Garland County, up one from Wednesday.
  • 128 recoveries in Garland County, up one from Wednesday.
  • 1 death in Garland County, no change from Wednesday.

The 261 new cases, none of which come from correctional facilities, is the highest single-day community case increase since the pandemic began. There were a total of 2,966 test results received, and they reported a positivity rate of 3.9%. The counties with the highest numbers of new cases were Benton (85), Washington (25), Pulaski (22), Crittenden (17), Craighead (12) and Sevier (11). Of the 85 in Benton County, 76% were in Rogers and 85% were from the Latino community. In Washington County, 80% were from Springdale and 40% were from the Latino community. In Sevier County, 45% are from the Latino community.

Dr. Nate Smith shared that along with the increase in the Latino community, they are also seeing more cases among younger individuals and those who are asymptomatic. The average ages of new cases are 40 in Benton County, 38 in Washington County and 26 in Craighead County. Of all of the cases so far reported, Smith said that half have reported having no symptoms at the time of being tested. Of those tested at the health units across the state for the past two weeks, where symptoms are not required to have a test done, 74% of positives have reported no symptoms.  

The governor explained that contact tracing is done on each of the new cases, and an average of 2.8 contacts per case need to be reached out to by contact tracers. That means that of the 261 new cases reported today, that could equate to 992 individuals in Arkansas who may have to be isolated and quarantined for 10-14 days. “This is another way to emphasize how important it is to control this virus and to reduce the spread because with the contact tracing, it impacts not just the case, the individual, but everybody who’s been in contact with that person who might have contracted that virus as well,” he said.

Steuart Walton, chair of the Economic Recovery Task Force, shared a few details on the task force’s interim report, which will be made available in English and Spanish tomorrow on Among the recommendations to the governor by the task force is an executive order by the governor to provide protection for businesses and employers. The report also includes details on prioritizing CARES Act funding for testing and tracing; childcare resources, funding and availability; workforce training; and broadband in rural areas of the state.