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Arkansas sees nearly 50,000 known total COVID-19 cases

Arkansas has seen a total of 49,383 coronavirus cases since the pandemic began on March 11th.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark — Last week, Gov. Hutchinson announced that Arkansas high school sports will continue as scheduled this fall. He said the state needs school this fall and, part of school, are the sports and activities.

The governor announced a $10 million Emergency Relief Fund (GEER) for WiFi access points for students across Arkansas. This will provide approximately 20,000 devices with up to 24 months of high-speed unlimited data.

Key facts to know:

  • 49,383 known positive cases of COVID-19 in Arkansas 
  • 7,387 active cases
  • 544 reported deaths 
  • 514 hospitalizations
  • 115 on ventilators
  • 41,452 recoveries

Sunday, August 9

3:20 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health confirmed an increase of 572 positive coronavirus cases in the state bringing the total to 49,383.

There was an additional 9 deaths, bringing the total number of deaths over the weekend to 23.

Saturday, August 8

2:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health confirms an increase of 772 positive cases in the state, bringing the total to 48,811. There are currently 7,299 active cases.

There have been 14 more deaths within 24 hours, bringing the death toll to 535.

Watch Friday's 1:30 p.m. press conference:

Friday, August 7

3:30 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Health provides a breakdown of hospitalization numbers:

  • Total Bed Capacity: 9,111
  • Total Beds Available: 2,750
  • Total ICU Beds: 1,011
  • Total ICU Beds Available: 156
  • Total Vents: 1,054
  • Total Vents Available: 719
  • Total COVID Patients in ICU: 262
  • Total COVID Patients on Vents: 116

1:50 p.m.

Secretary of Education Johnny Key clarified that students don't have to be at school every day, but that the campus has to be open for students five days a week.

Previously, the Associated Press reported that Arkansas schools were required by the education department all week for students to offer "relevant and engaging onsite learning opportunities" in order to comply with the state constitution.

RELATED: Arkansas school districts must stay open for onsite learning 5 days a week

Gov. Hutchinson also signed an executive order to allow absentee ballots due to COVID-19 concerns. The order will also allow county clerks to prepare, but not open any ballots that are received before election day.

He said this allowance to prepare will help to tally votes on election day.

1:45 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson announced that $20 million has been proposed to cover COVID-19 emergency leave for school employees.

The funds would come from CARES Act funding and would be available to teachers and support staff.

The leave would cover up to two weeks of paid leave for an employee if they have to quarantine for COVID-19 related reasons.

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson announced 1,011 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas. He said 6,224 people were tested over the last 24 hours and said it was a "good day of testing."

Hospitalizations are up 9 to a total of 523 and there are six more deaths, bringing the known total to 521 deaths.

He said there are 7,158 active cases in the state.

9:30 a.m.

According to health officials, a total of 236 people have tested for coronavirus in child care facilities.

Officials said 107 children and 129 staff members have tested positive for the virus across the state. 

Thursday, August 6

1:45 p.m.

Romero said during the briefing that the state has seen cases in daycares, but didn't have any additional information to provide at this time.

He said officials are keeping an eye on it and tracking the cases.

1:35 p.m.

Dr. Jose Romero reported 735 new coronavirus cases in Arkansas, bringing the known total to 47,028.

514 people are currently hospitalized and 111 people are on ventilators. Seven more people have died from COVID-19.

A total of 4,514 people were tested over the last 24 hours.

Wednesday, August 5

4:45 p.m.

The Arkansas Department of Education has established a Ready for School Resource Call Center. 

The purpose of the call center is to provide Arkansans with information and resources regarding the reopening of schools. The call center will be staffed by education and health professionals, as well as community partners. 

The operating hours are 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. 

The number is 1-833-353-6050. 

1:45 p.m.

Dr. Jose Romero provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 912 new cases
  • 6,937 active cases
    • 88 in nursing homes
    • 513 in prisons
    • 6,300 in community
  • 516 hospitalizations
  • 508 deaths
  • 38,848 recoveries

1:30 p.m.

Gov. Hutchinson announced 912 new cases, which brings the known total to 46,293. There were 18 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 508.

A total of 5,077 people were tested people over the last 24 hours.

Tuesday, August 4

4:30 p.m.

Chancellor Patterson and College of Public Health Dean Mark Williams give an overview of the latest predictive COVID-19 models from the College, based on data collected through July 30. 

Neither Patterson nor Williams shared a long-term prediction of the pandemic in Arkansas, but plan to do so at a later date.

Two models were conducted to show 1) the short-term forecast of confirmed cases and hospitalizations, and 2) assessments of the impact of COVID-19 on counties and various demographic groups in the state.

Both models conclude in exponential growth hitting the state by mid-August. The models show a growth of 15,000 cases within the next 15 days.

To read the full report, click here.

1:40 p.m.

Dr. Jose Romero provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 784 new cases
  • 6,891 active cases
    • 88 in nursing homes
    • 393 in prisons
    • 6,410 in community
  • 526 hospitalizations
  • 101 ventilators
  • 490 deaths
  • 38,000 recoveries

The governor addressed the potential fraud with the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Claims. He said some claims are on hold because they've been identified as potential fraud. Teams are working hard to sort through those and turn over some to the FBI. 

Secretary Mike Preston said this is part of a national or even international ring that's trying to defraud the system. It goes back decades. Over 27,000 claims are on a hold or potential fraud review and 10,000 more with unemployment insurance.

"Our team has been working very hard to address this," Preston said. "If you are on a hold status, you should receive a letter in the next couple days on how you can verify yourself. We are partnering with state agencies to help. You'll bring in your ID, your letter and your PUA claim to make sure you are legit. Then your account will be unlocked. On the other side, if you are a business owner, let them know immediately." 

Credit: Arkansas Division of Workforce Services

1:30 p.m.

During the press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced 784 new cases, which brings the known total to 45,381. There were 15 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 490. 

There was a 13-person increase in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total down to 526.

The state of Arkansas completed 5,840 tests in the last 24 hours.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Pulaski County - 149
  • Sebastian County - 56
  • Mississippi County - 55
  • Washington County - 45
  • Garland County - 29
  • Saline County - 25
  • Crittenden County - 24
  • Jefferson County - 23
Credit: Data Source: Arkansas Department of Health

___________

Monday, August 3

1:40 p.m.

Today marks two weeks since statewide mask mandate. The Arkansas State Chamber of Commerce offers downloadable posters that you can put in the window of your business, to make sure customers know they must wear a mask.

Credit: ARKANSAS STATE CHAMBER OF COMMERCE

Dr. Jose Romero provided a breakdown of the cases in the state:

  • 787 new cases
    • 6 in prisons
    • 781 in community
  • 6,682 active cases
    • 80 in nursing homes
    • 392 in prisons
    • 6,408 in community
  • 513 hospitalizations
  • 108 ventilators
  • 475 deaths
  • 37,240 recoveries

Dr. Romero stressed for everyone to get the flu vaccine this year. 

"We know there's a pressure on our hospitals during flu season, but this year we need that space for COVID-19," Dr. Romero said. "So get your flu test."

Watch Monday's press conference:

1:30 p.m.

During the press conference, Gov. Hutchinson announced Arkansas has received 100 antigen testing machines. He said there are also 100 more are on order. 

These will be assigned to public health units with quick turnaround for K-12 schools. So if a teacher or student needs a quick test, these machines will be available for quick testing at public health units. 

Credit: ARKANSAS DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH

Gov. Hutchinson said there are 787 new cases, which brings the known total to 44,597. There were 11 more deaths were announced, bringing the total to 475. 

There was a 2-person decrease in hospitalizations in the last 24 hours, bringing the total down to 513.

There were 194,836 COVID-19 tests completed in July for Arkansas. The new testing goal for the month of August is190,000.  A new goal also calls for another 10,000 antigen tests.

New cases broken down by county:

  • Sebastian County - 87
  • Washington County - 66
  • Pulaski County - 54
  • Benton County - 42
  • Logan County - 37
  • Garland County - 29
  • Crittenden County - 28
  • Jefferson County - 25
  • Mississippi County - 22
Credit: Data Source: Arkansas Department of Health

___________

Over the weekend:

Credit: Data Source: Arkansas Department of Health