1 new death reported in county: State's confirmed deaths top 1,200, cases surpass 80,000
By Scott Loftis
More than 80,000 Arkansas residents have tested positive for COVID-19 and more than 1,200 have died, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said during a news conference Tuesday in Little Rock.
Hutchinson said 482 newly confirmed cases were reported in the previous 24 hours, bringing the state’s cumulative total to 80,003 since the pandemic reached the state in mid-March. The governor said 21 Arkansans died from the virus in that same 24-hour period, raising the state’s death toll to 1,203.
The Arkansas Department of Health reported an additional 224 probable cases Tuesday afternoon, raising the state’s total to 2,752. Probable cases are based on positive antigen tests, which are considered less reliable than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests. The health department said there were 146 probable COVID-19 deaths as of Tuesday afternoon.
One Carroll County resident has died from the virus in the past week, the health department reported, bringing the county’s total to 10 deaths. As of Tuesday afternoon, the health department reported 680 confirmed cases in the county, with 77 of those active. There were also eight probable cases, with two active.
Confirmed cases in the county increased by 58 from the previous week, while the number of active confirmed cases was up by eight. Although the county’s probable-case count increased by two, the number of active probable cases was unchanged.
Hutchinson acknowledged at Tuesday’s press conference that the most recent report issued by the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force continued to list Arkansas in the “red zone” for new cases, “the good news is that … they do have us in the yellow zone for test positivity.”
“It also said … that Arkansas has seen stability in new cases and stability in test positivity over the last week,” Hutchinson said. “And so it is important to recognize what they see, in terms of national experts, on trendlines. They see some stability and so people who like to know that the discipline that they’re exercising makes a difference, I think this demonstrates that it can make a difference if we are careful about our behavior.”
In a seven-day period beginning Wednesday, Sept. 23, the state reported 5,231 new confirmed cases —an average of more than 747 per day. That represents a 12.5 percent increase in the daily average of new cases for the week beginning Wednesday, Sept. 16, when there were 4,647 new cases for an average of 663.9 per day.
Arkansas has conducted more than 1 million PCR tests in September, with a total of 18,893 positive tests. In that same time, the state has reported 406 confirmed COVID-19 deaths.