The seven-day average of new cases continues on an upward trajectory as the total number reached 9,740, a nearly 2,000 case jump since the same time last week.
Monday also saw 26 more hospitalizations reaching a total of 171, which is another all-time high for Arkansas. There are 46 COVID-19 patients on ventilators.
Of the 314 new coronavirus cases on Monday, only about 4% of them reported going to a restaurant, hotel, gym, church or salon in the previous two weeks. Health Secretary Nate Smith pointed out that this does not mean that is where the cases originated.
On June 2, the number of positive cases reached 7,818 with 2,115 of those being active. Monday, there were nearly 3,000 active cases in the state.
Smith said although the state is nowhere near the capacity for hospitalizations the Department of Health is monitoring individual hospitals to make sure they are not overwhelmed.
Washington and Benton Counties were the two highest in the state with 86 and 41 respectively. Gov. Asa Hutchinson provided a graph that showed the breakdown of regions which showed Northwest Arkansas was on a downward trend.
The statewide goal for testing in June is 120,000. According to Smith, Arkansas has consistently administered over 4,000 tests per day and is on track to test 1% of the population of Arkansas each week.
Hutchinson noted each region is at different stages but all have similarities: The future is unpredictable; information shows that reopening is not related to the new cases; the increase in testing reveals the challenge ahead; self and social discipline must continue and the economy needs to keep moving.
Steuart Walton, chairman a newly established Arkansas Economic Recovery Task Force, gave a brief update by sharing the task force met in person for the first time on Monday. About 20 members were addressed by the governor.
According to Walton, small businesses are being hit the hardest in this health and economic crisis. Walton expressed his feelings as “concerned, but optimistic.”
Both Hutchinson and Smith stated that masks are helpful in controlling the spread of COVID-19 and that would play a role in determining the reopening timeline for Arkansas.