After several days below 500 new coronavirus (COIVD-19) cases per day over the past week, Thursday saw 722 new cases in Arkansas, causing the seven-day rolling average to go back on the rise.
Even though the seven-day average was up, the number is still significantly lower than the peak Arkansas reached in July.
Sebastian County was the third highest county in the state with 37 new cases on Thursday.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson’s response to the bump in cases was, "I’m concerned every day."
The governor further stated that everyone should keep an eye on the numbers for the next few days to make sure this is not a trend in new cases. However, Hutchinson noted that this proved there was a continued risk with COVID-19.
The number of hospitalizations and patients on ventilators were both down to 433 and 99 respectively. Arkansas Health Secretary Jose Romero stated that this is the level hospitalizations were at six weeks ago.
When giving an update on Hurricane Laura, Hutchinson stated that there were 22,000 Arkansans without power as of his briefing on Thursday.
Hutchinson urged residents to pay attention to the weather and follow the guidelines provided by weather and civil service teams.
On Thursday, the Arkansas Department of Education (ADE) announced that there will be district-level information for school districts with more than five COVID-19 cases.
This information will update on Mondays and Thursdays on Arkansas Center for Health Improvement’s (ACHI) website and will give a case number of students and employees per district.
As of Thursday, there were 222 active student COVID-19 cases out of 480,000 students in the state. These cases are a result of activities before the school year.
Both Hutchinson and Romero urged Arkansans to follow guidelines because they are in place for the protection of students and adults in the area.
Romero shared that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines stated that asymptomatic contacts were not to be tested unless the state requires it. Arkansas currently requires asymptomatic contacts to get tested for COVID-19.
Hutchinson closed the briefing by urging residents to look past the raw numbers and look into the data behind it because that is where the real information is that tells a deeper story.