(07/13/20) 5,425 active community cases

Weekend sees highest single-day increase and three-day rise of 2,136 new cases

The following statistics were shared Monday, July 13, at Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s daily COVID-19 news conference in Little Rock and posted on the Arkansas Department of Health’s website:

  • 28,939 total confirmed cases, up 2,136 from 26,803 on Friday.
  • 6,510 active cases, up 663 from Friday.
  • 22,106 recoveries, up 1,464 from Friday.
  • 323 deaths, up 10 from Friday.
  • 439 cases requiring hospitalization, up 37 from Friday.
  • 89 cases requiring a ventilator, up five from Friday.  
  • 332 cumulative cases in Garland County, up 29 from Friday.
  • 65 active cases in Garland County, up one from Friday.
  • 264 recoveries in Garland County, up 28 from Friday.
  • 3 deaths in Garland County, no change from Friday.

In the past 24 hours, the number of new cases was 572, with 3 from correctional facilities and 569 from the community. The counties with the highest number of new cases are Pulaski (77), Washington (53), Sebastian (40), Pope (25), Benton (23), Mississippi (23), Crittenden (22), Craighead (20) and Jefferson (20). There was a total of 5,254 test results reported in the past 24 hours, and the cumulative positivity rate is at 7.5%.

Over the weekend, there was a record number of new cases for one day on Saturday with 1,061, and an additional 503 on Sunday. Over the last four days, there have been more than 500 prisoners test positive at the Ouachita River Unit near Malvern. Of the 6,510 active cases, 127 are from nursing homes, 958 are from correctional facilities and 5,425 are in the community.

Hutchinson showed graphs of hospitalizations by region in the state, and explained that they continue to keep a close eye on the increasing hospitalizations. In the Northeast Region, hospitalizations are down to around 30 from peak of 40. In the Northwest Region, hospitalizations plateaued at just under 140. In the Southwest Region, hospitalizations are flat at a little below 40. In the Central Region, hospitalizations have come down from over 60 to a little over 50. In the Southeast Region, hospitalizations are flat at around 37.

He also showed a statewide county map with new community cases coming from this past weekend, July 11-13, and although there were new cases all across the state, the highest numbers came from the central and northwestern-most counties. Garland County was shown to have had 27 cases over this period.

Hutchinson said he visited with former Senator Mark Pryor, whose father and mother tested positive for COVID-19. David Pryor is still in the hospital, but Barbara Pryor is back home. “This just illustrates that no one is immune from the virus. We can all be careful, but you can’t be too careful,” he said.  This led the governor to the conversation about masks, and how they can accomplish encouraging people to wear masks. “What we are in total agreement on is that masks is the one tool that we have to reduce the spread of the virus, to be able to give ourselves the ability to be out and to move in public without spreading the virus. And, so, the mask is something we want to continue to impress upon Arkansans that that will make a difference for us,” he said. “Last week, we extended the start date for schools in Arkansas by two weeks, which gives us an opportunity to get our cases down, to reduce the spread in our community, and when we do that we know that we can send our children and start back to school in a way that is safer for everyone.”

Dr. Nate Smith also discussed masks. He said he has heard and seen on social media that “masks don’t work.”

“Surgical or cloth masks are designed for source control,” he said, meaning that a surgeon’s mask keeps the surgeon’s germs from getting in the patient’s wounds. “If everyone wears a mask, we’re keeping our respiratory secretions to ourselves, and keeping them from getting airborne,” he explained.