With the Fourth of July coming next week, Health Secretary Nate Smith warned Arkansans to be careful about social gatherings. Smith pointed out the record spike that took place as a result of social distancing not taking place over Memorial Day weekend.
Smith suggested Arkansans celebrate the upcoming holiday with social distancing and good health practices. If this does not take place, the following week’s testing results will show another spike in cases.
Hospitalizations were back up for a new high of 248 on Tuesday along with 595 new positive cases in the state. In spite of the more than 400 recoveries on Tuesday, the death toll rose to 237 with 10 additional deaths.
The seven day rolling average and active cases continuing to rise, Gov. Asa Hutchinson urged Arkansans to continue practicing social distancing and wearing masks to slow the spread.
Numerically, Washington and Benton Counties continue to be the counties with the highest number of new COVID-19 cases. However, the governor showed a breakdown of percentage increase in Northwest Arkansas and Crawford and Sebastian Counties led the way.
Hutchinson also addressed the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) model that showed the peak of 133,000 cases coming around September 30 with 3,000 hospitalizations.
"Our goal is to change the trajectory" Hutchinson stated in response.
In preparation of this peak in the fall, the governor stated that Arkansas is continuously trying to acquire more ventilators as that is the most difficult thing to get and takes the longest to produce.
Smith also addressed the team from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that was still working in Northwest Arkansas. He noted that these teams usually stay for a week, but this team is staying longer and digging deeper. Smith said the team is going down to the household level to stop the chain of transmission.