Of the 72 new cases, 20 were from the Federal Correctional Institute in Forest City.
Hutchinson and Dr. Nate Smith shared information about growth rate in cases from May 5-6, with both data on age groups and geographic regions in the state. The two age groups with the highest rate of increase are the 18-25 and 65-plus. Overall, the highest percentage of cases in Arkansas are from the 25-44 age group. “The majority of people who have been infected in Arkansas are really in those younger age groups, and so it’s very important that everybody take those precautions – social distancing, hand washing, wearing a mask out in public – and these are things that will help prevent the spread,” said Smith.
Geographically, the most cases recently have come from the northeast, Jonesboro and West Memphis, and southwest, Texarkana. There have also been more cases in the southeast, Forest City.
Smith encouraged anyone with symptoms to get tested, and Hutchinson explained that the state has received a commitment from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for 90,000 test kits and swabs to be delivered to Arkansas for the month of May. Hutchinson said they have set a goal of 60,000 completed tests for May.
The governor signed an executive order on May 5 waiving annual well and production assessment fees to assist the oil and gas industry in South Arkansas, where it’s not been cost effective for them to continue to produce out of their wells with prices being so low.