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Spiking coronavirus cases in Arkansas not tied to increase testing across the state

Data shows the increasing number of COVID-19 cases is not tied to more testing in the state.
Credit: KFSM

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark — In previous weeks, Governor Asa Hutchinson attributed increased COVID-19 testing as what's leading to the growth of cases in Arkansas.

The daily number of confirmed cases across Arkansas continues to rise by hundreds each day. While testing capacity has increased, it's not entirely the cause for surging COVID-19 cases in the state. 

According to data from the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) cases in Washington County grew by 50% last week while testing capacity grew by 14%.

Credit: KFSM

In Benton County last week there was a 23% increase in cases, but just 2% testing growth.

Credit: KFSM

In the River Valley, Sebastian County's testing capacity grew by 25%, cases increased by 85%.

Credit: KFSM

Overall in Arkansas, last week COVID-19 cases across the state grew by 37% and testing capacity was only a 1% increase.

Credit: KFSM

Previously, Gov. Hutchinson mentioned increased testing as a large factor for the rising number of cases. When asked Monday (June 29) what's leading to the spread after hearing the above percentages, he responded by saying, "A limited number of outbreaks in different facilities that’s led to it we have also had perhaps a complacency among some of the population that they thought maybe we are over this challenge with COVID-19 and nothing could be further from the truth."

Over the weekend (June 27-28) there were 12 COVID-19 related deaths in our area, two in Sebastian County, four in Washington County and six in Benton County.

As of Monday (June 29), the cumulative number of COVID-19 cases has surpassed 20,000 in Arkansas. 

There were 439 new cases reported Monday, totaling 5,926 active cases in the state. There are 300 COVID-19 patients in hospitals and 265 deaths so far.

Health officials report that 14,066 Arkansans have recovered from the virus.

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