According to Health Secretary Nate Smith, only 3.5% of new cases were a result of reopening measures. This news came as Arkansas ramped up testing and started to see a second peak.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson gave his daily press briefing from Jonesboro on Wednesday and included data specific to the northeastern region of Arkansas.
For the state, there were an additional 97 coronavirus (COVID-19) cases for a total of 6,277 positive tests with 1,733 of those being active. Both hospitalizations and deaths rose by one for a total of 108 and 120 respectively.
With 108 hospitalizations, the second peak has almost reached the all-time high of 109 that took place in April.
Tuesday saw the second highest number of tests for Arkansas at 4,033 with a 1.9% positivity rate. Since the start of the caronavirus pandemic, Arkansas has administered 117,076 tests with over 66,000 in the month of May.
Across Arkansas, the seven-day average of new cases is still on the rise, but is starting to flatten. In the northeast region, the seven-day average is on a sharp decline.
Hutchinson showed a breakdown of the rate of growth in each region where the northwest region has the highest rate of growth at 58%. Smith shared that the northeast region went from the highest rate of growth to being below the state average.
“I’m very proud of the northeast region,” said Smith.
With small outbreaks, the governor noted that small numbers can lead to big percentage jumps and they should grab people’s attention.
Smith stated that the Arkansas Department of Health is carefully examining where people were exposed so that they can be aware of high risk situations.
He also pointed out that this virus has “very little margin for error” and that Arkansans should be careful and continue to follow social distancing guidelines.
Hutchinson took a moment to address those who were unemployed and said, “As the opportunity comes for you to go back to work, go back to work.”
The governor shared that Arkansas Education Secretary Johnny Key was working with superintendents across the state to decide what to do about schools in the fall.
With contact tracing, Smith noted that it is not a one-time situation, but a process so that the state can learn what to do in the future.
The governor closed his briefing by urging Arkansans to “use common sense and behave appropriately.”