As the hospitalizations passed the 500 mark and total positive COVID-19 cases passed 40,000, Gov. Asa Hutchinson stated that Arkansas needed to "do better" when it came to the number of positive cases accumulating in the state.
On Tuesday, there were 734 new COVID-19 cases. While the number of active cases had declined, the seven-day rolling average reached a plateau that the governor wants to see go down.
With 501 hospitalizations and 110 patients on a ventilator, Hutchinson called the increase "unacceptable" and urged Arkansans to follow health guidelines by wearing a mask and practicing social distancing.
This number represents an all-time high for hospitalizations in Arkansas at a given time.
With 20 additional deaths reported on Tuesday, the total number rose to 428.
Of the new positive cases, 45 were in Sebastian County which was tied with Washington County as the fourth-highest county in the state on Tuesday.
Hutchinson showed a graph of positivity rate by county. Sebastian County was 7.7% while Crawford County was at 6.2%. While both of these are under the 10% threshold set by the Center for Disease Control (CDC), they are higher than the recommended 5% for returning to school.
With 5,248 tests administered in the 24 hours preceding Tuesday’s press briefing, Hutchinson believed that Arkansas was "in good shape compared to the nation and goals."
Hutchinson acknowledged the delay in test results leading to the delay in contact tracing, but he emphasized the importance of continuing to track down contacts of those who test positive for COVID-19.