Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 2,227

(04/21/20) Arkansas COVID-19 cases up to 2,227 At Governor Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 press conference, the following updates as of 1:30 p.m. were shared:

  • 2,227 total confirmed cases (up 304 from 1,923 on April 20)
  • 109 confirmed cases in Garland County (from the ADH COVID-19 status page)
  • 1,375 active cases, which discounts recoveries and deaths
  • 86 COVID-19 patients in the hospital (no change)
  • 27 patients currently on a ventilator (up three)
  • 43 COVID-19-related deaths (up one)
  • 135 nursing home residents (up seven)
  • 809 recovered (up 60)

Of the 304 new cases today, 262 are out of Cummins State Prison and 42 are from outside of Cummins, which provide the statewide perspective. Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith shared three points of good news related to the data: if you take out the positives from the correction system, our numbers are going down; of the counties with more than 100 cases, none are on the upward trend; and although the correctional facility numbers are alarming, once we know who is positive, a prison setting is the optimal place to control an outbreak.

Gov. Hutchinson announced that he signed an executive order today creating working group on testing capacity in Arkansas. He has acknowledged the importance of testing from day one, and said there have been challenges in obtaining reagents and with the supply line, but it is getting better. The working group of doctors and testing experts and officials has short-term goals in order to enhance the testing quickly here in the state and determine what the challenges are in the supply chain. The long-term goals will be to look at next fall where we will still have the need for testing.

The state’s economic recovery task force had its first meeting today. Steuart Walton chairs the group of around 40 citizens from across Arkansas who are engaged in a multitude of different industries. Walton said they are working hard to provide recommendations to the state by May 4. They plan to provide an interim report by the end of May and a final report by the end of June. They are also focused on a strategic set of recommendations for businesses and industry across Arkansas to help them thrive in the recovery and far into the future.