Arkansas recorded a fourth straight day of declined cases, Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced Monday in his regular COVID-19 press briefing. The state reported 439 new cases of COVID-19 since Sunday for a cumulative total of 20,257. Of the new cases, 418 were in the community.
Of the more than 20,000 total cases that have been recorded in the state, 5,227 are active in the community, a decrease of 20 since Sunday.
An additional 17 hospitalizations have been recorded since Sunday for a total of 300. Sixty-three hospitalized patients are on ventilators, a decrease of three since Sunday. Since Sunday, 430 recoveries from COVID-19 have been recorded for a total of 14,066 recoveries in the state. One additional death has been recorded since Sunday for a total of 265.
Washington County again led the way in new cases the governor said, with Pulaski, Benton, Sevier and Sebastian Counties recording increased numbers of cases as well.
Despite Washington County’s high number of cases, the rolling average of new cases in Northwest Arkansas has steadily declined, while the state has recorded an increased average of new cases in central Arkansas. With success being witnessed in the northwest, Secretary of Health Dr. Nate Smith said people in other areas of the state, especially in the central region with its dense population, should be mindful of how the virus can affect them.
“Although we’ve been focusing our attention on the northwest part of the state, we need to be vigilant here in the central part of the state,” Smith said.
Since Sunday, 4,939 tests were completed for a total of 167,168 tests this month, Smith said. For the month of June, the state is third in per capita testing in comparison with other states in the southeast region and Kansas, the governor said.
Arkansas continues to test below the CDC’s threshold of a 10 percent positivity rate, with the latest rate recorded at just over 5 percent. Despite the low number, the governor said he’d like the positivity rate to dip below 5 percent.
The governor attributed the state’s recent decline in new cases to its strategy.
“[Our] strategy is working,” the governor said. “Secondly, it’s the constant effort by our community leaders to make sure people wear masks and socially distance.”