COVID-19 hospital numbers keep rising

This is a screenshot of Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s Tuesday news conference to provide his weekly COVID-19 update. At left is Eddie Schmeckenbecher, the Governor’s interpreter for the hearing impaired.

COVID-19 hospitalizations in Arkansas increased to 810 on Tuesday and dropped to 801 on Wednesday.

The state also posted a new record one-day spike with 1,962 cases for the second time in less than a week.

“Today we saw another record number of reported new cases,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said in a prepared statement on Wednesday. “There was a small decline in hospitalizations but the high number of cases is a profoundly serious reminder of the emergency that continues. Susan and I just spoke about our holiday plans and we are taking extra precautions and limiting the number. Plan safely.”

According to the Arkansas Department of Health, the state’s virus cases totaled 126,197 on Wednesday, including both confirmed and probable cases. The state’s COVID-19 death toll also rose to 2,126 on Wednesday. There have been 101,583 recoveries statewide.

The Health Department reported Wednesday that the top counties for new cases are Pulaski, 172; Benton, 144; Garland, 136; Washington, 121; and Sebastian, 116.

“The numbers aren’t good, the trend is not good, and we have a lot of work to do here in Arkansas, and across the nation,” Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference on Tuesday.

Hutchinson is not in favor of closing businesses again in the state, however.

“You’d be shutting down businesses that are taking precautions, but you’ve still got the spread through all the other activities of life,” Hutchinson said Tuesday.

In Greene County the Arkansas Department of Health shows there have been 1,723 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 295 probable cases for a total of 2,018.

There are 257 confirmed active cases in Greene County, and 96 probable active cases for a total of 353, and there have been 22 confirmed deaths in the county, and two probable, due to the virus.

A total of 1,444 people have recovered from confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Greene County, and there have been 197 others who have recovered from probable cases in the county.

Arkansas Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero says the latest rise in the state’s cases can be linked to Halloween activities and the department is discouraging nursing home residents from leaving their facilities to celebrate the holidays with their families because of the virus.

A House spokeswoman said this week that Republican State Rep. Joe Jett, tested positive for the virus, the 11th state lawmaker to contract the virus over the past month. Arkansas has had the second largest coronavirus outbreak among state legislatures, according to figures compiled by The Associated Press.

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