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Gov. Hutchinson says state not ready for regional reopening of economy

Dr. Nate Smith said the new case count and number of hospitalizations in recent days is “quite an increase,” but there is no threat to hospital capacity.
Credit: Talk Business & Politics

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — With the number of new known COVID-19 cases rising almost 13% over the weekend, Governor Asa Hutchinson said Monday (June 8) he is delaying any move to open further the economy on a regional basis. He said the option remains open, but “not right now.”

In the previous week, the governor said he was considering moving to a phase two reopening of economic sectors in regions of the state where COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations were stable. Most of the new cases and hospitalizations in the past week have come from Benton and Washington counties in Northwest Arkansas. The Sunday data shows Benton with 956 cases and Washington with 1,016 cases, just behind Pulaski County – the state’s most populous county – with 1,103 cases.

Known COVID-19 cases in Arkansas totaled 9,740 on Monday, up from 9,426 on Sunday, and up 12.6% from the 8,651 cases on Friday. Of the 314 new cases, 13 were from correctional facilities. Of the total cases, 2,955 are active cases, 106 are in correctional facilities and 139 in nursing homes. The number of deaths rose from 154 to 155. The number of COVID patients hospitalized in Arkansas was 171 on Monday, up from 145 on Sunday. There are 46 patients on ventilators, up from 35 on Sunday. There are 6,630 Arkansans who have recovered.

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