Arkansas had 50,028 cumulative COVID-19 cases, which was roughly 5,000 cases fewer than what the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences predicted, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced during his daily briefing Monday.

Hutchinson said that on Friday, Arkansas experienced a spike in positive cases with 1,011 for the day. Over the weekend positive cases slowly decreased to 772 on Saturday, 572 on Sunday, he said. The state reported an increase of 645 cases on Monday.

Hutchinson said the lower case numbers are the result of the statewide mask mandate.

“If everyone continues to comply and socially distance we will continue to see a difference,” Hutchinson said while urging the public to not get complacent with prevention measures.

Out of the 642 new cases, 13 were from correctional facilities while 632 were from the community. Pulaski County was still the biggest hot spot in Arkansas.

The hospitals have seen a decrease of six patients, with 585 being hospitalized.

Of those hospitalized with the virus, 117 people are on ventilators. To date, 42,139 Arkansas patients have recovered.

The state is still waiting on antigen tests, which will improve testing and tracking of COVID-19 in the state of Arkansas, Hutchinsion said.

While most schools in Arkansas will start in upcoming weeks, Hutchinson is still hopeful that the school districts are doing the best that they can to keep a handle on potential outbreaks. Some schools have already had outbreaks among team sports, and Hutchinson confirmed that in the event a player tests positive, teams may still practice.

In addition to concerns about school sports, Hutchinson is also hopeful that the Southeastern Conference will continue with its season, and assured the public that Razorback players as well as other athletes want a chance to play this season.

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