Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 3,747; pools and water parks can open May 22

(05/08/20)  Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 3,747; pools and water parks can open May 22  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:

  • 3,747 total confirmed cases, up 82 from 3,665 on Thursday.
  • 691 active cases, down 19 from Thursday.
  • 2,968 recoveries, up 101 from Thursday.
  • 88 deaths, no change from Thursday.
  • 64 cases requiring hospitalization, down six from Thursday.
  • 14 cases on a ventilator, no change from Thursday.
  • 270 nursing home residents infected, up four from Thursday.
  • 118 cases in Garland County, up one from Thursday.
  • 112 recoveries in Garland County, up one from Thursday.
  • 1 death in Garland County, no change from Thursday.

Dr. Nate Smith said that a total of 2,355 test results were received since yesterday, making the rate of infection 2.1%. The state’s overall rate of infection among those tested is 5.8%.

Hutchinson announced that effective May 22, water parks, recreational pools, splash pads and swim beaches can reopen at 50% capacity and with adherence to the following guidelines: no entry for those with fever, symptoms or contact with positive patient; six-foot physical distancing, and use of fewer entrances, if needed, to control overcrowding; markings to note distancing at slides, diving boards and anywhere there may be a line; frequent disinfection of high-touch areas; tables and chairs moved six-feet apart, but families can sit together; and pool chemistry maintained by checking pH twice-daily. Lifeguard training can begin immediately.

Smith announced that on May 11 hospitals and medical clinics will be able to move to the next phase of elective surgeries to allow for overnight stays less than 48 hours. More complex procedures, according to the American Society of Anesthesiologists category rankings, will also be allowed.

Hutchinson also shared that the General Assembly approved today an increase to $147 million for the available funds for the Arkansas Ready for Business Grant Program, as well as the COVID-19 payments to direct- and indirect-care providers and employees.