Arkansas COVID-19 cases up 276 to total of 2,741
(04/24/20) Arkansas COVID-19 cases up 276 to total of 2,741 At Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 press conference, the following updates as of 1:30 p.m. were shared:
- 2,741 total confirmed cases (up 276 from 2,465 on April 23)
- 1,763 active cases, discounting recoveries (932; up 30) and deaths (46; up one)
- 109 confirmed cases in Garland County (from the ADH COVID-19 status page)
- 104 COVID-19 patients in the hospital (up three)
- 25 patients currently on a ventilator (up one)
- 285 cases involving healthcare workers (up 10)
- 176 cases in nursing homes (up two); 102 nursing home staff (up three); 34 facilities with active cases
In the past 24 hours, a total number of 2,808 test results were received, which is the largest single-day total to date with the previous one-day high at around 1,600. There was a 4.1% positivity rate, which is below the overall average of 7.9%. The Arkansas Surge Campaign continues today and tomorrow, with the slogan that “if you think you have symptoms, don’t wait – get tested.” Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said there is concern of the three-day increase in positive cases from the community (notwithstanding the new cases from the prisons), particularly from the northwest and northeast areas of the state. Of the 276 new cases today, 198 are from Cummins State Prison, with 78 from the community.
Gov. Hutchinson announced a goal to reopen dental procedures starting May 18. The Arkansas Department of Health will distribute appropriate guidelines prior to the reopening.
Also, the governor approved an additional $1 million to cover an the 100 business bridge loan applications that were left unfunded when the initial $5 million was exhausted for the previously approved 246 loans, which retained almost 2,500 full-time jobs and nearly 1,000 part-time positions.
Secretary of Commerce Mike Preston reported that unemployment claims in Arkansas have surpassed 170,000, with the nationwide total over 26 million. He said that from 6 a.m. till noon tomorrow, Saturday, April 25, the EZARK website where unemployment claims are submitted (https://www.dws.arkansas.gov/unemployment/ezarc/) will be down to allow for an upgrade to a larger mainframe for additional capacity. Also, starting this Sunday, the Call Center (844-908-2178) will be open seven days a week. Preston said that those who have lost employer-based health insurance due to COVID-19 may qualify for a marketplace qualifying health plan. Call the Arkansas Insurance Department, 844-355-3262, for more information. Lastly, Preston said they hope to have the system up and running by the end of the month to process claims for the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which is for self-employed and freelance workers, as a part of the CARES Act.