Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson provided a COVID-19 update on Wednesday from the University of Arkansas Community College Batesville.
Another 606 new cases of the virus was reported, bringing the statewide total of cases to 70,731. Total deaths due to the virus is at 1,010, and there were 387 hospitalized because of the virus on Wednesday.
Dr. José Romero, secretary of the Arkansas Department of Health, said the state has seen 64,145 people recover from the illness, and that there is a total of 5,572 active cases in Arkansas. The region of the state with the highest growth rate is still Northeast Arkansas.
The White House Coronavirus Task Force said the state had the eighth-highest rate for new cases last week, reporting 124 per 100,000 people. But the report noted that new cases and the rate of positive coronavirus tests has trended downward in the past week.
The state’s rate of positive tests was down 2 percentage points to 7.6 percent over the previous week, the report said. The national rate of positive tests was 4.8 percent, according to the report, dated Sept. 13.
Pine Bluff, Jonesboro, Fort Smith, Harrison, Blytheville and Texarkana were all identified as in the “red zone” because of the number of new cases and local test positivity rates, the White House report said.
Meanwhile, an updated model from the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences’ Fay W. Boozman College of Public Health predicts that virus cases will peak in Arkansas in late December. The model, which is updated every two weeks, predicts that cases will then begin a slow downward trend in the first months of 2021.
People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Symptoms can be mild or severe, and may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with symptoms may have: Fever or chills; Cough; Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing; Fatigue; Muscle or body aches; Headache; New loss of taste or smell; Sore throat; Congestion or runny nose; Nausea or vomiting; or Diarrhea.
The best way to prevent the spread of the flu, COVID-19 and similar viruses, according to the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences is to:
Avoid close contact with sick people
Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unclean hands
Stay home when you are sick
Cover all coughs and sneezes with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash your hands
Cough and sneeze into your elbow instead of on your hand
Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces with a household cleaning spray or wipe.
If you have specific questions about COVID-19 in Arkansas, contact the Arkansas Department of Health at 1-800-803-7847