LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — Arkansas reported 6,562 new COVID-19 cases and 27 deaths on Tuesday, which is the record high in the amount of cases reported in a single day.
A total of 9,248 people have died in Arkansas due to the virus and more than 1.5 million have been fully vaccinated against coronavirus.
Key facts to know:
- Total cases: 581,134 (+6,562)
- Active cases: 32,280 (+5,118)
- Total deaths: 9,248 (+27)
- Hospitalized: 775 (+53)
- On ventilators: 118 (+3)
- Fully vaccinated: 1,509,843 (+1,877)
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Hutchinson noted that the state is seeing a record increase in COVID-19 cases due to the omicron variant and that "we are entering a period of probably the greatest risk and greatest challenge we have faced during the pandemic."
Arkansas has also seen a record-high of 25.5% of positivity rate for the virus among those tested.
As test lines stay long and at home kits remain hard to find, the governor also put in a directive to bring 50 National Guard members to the state to help medical sites, like UAMS, with testing efforts.
"I've authorized the deployment of an additional 50 National Guard across the state to assist in deployment to assist in testing," Hutchinson said.
This also comes as the governor has ordered 1.5 million more at-home test kits for the state — just with an uncertain delivery date.
Adding, "There's a national shortage. We're ready to deploy those, we're waiting those to be delivered."
The governor provided data that schools that had a full mask mandate saw a 25% reduction in COVID-19 case rates among student and staff.
He said that he doesn't see a need for a public health emergency and make decisions "day by day" on how the state government handles the pandemic.
The vaccination rate still remains low in the state with less than 2,000 becoming fully vaccinated against COVID-19 over a 24-hour period.
But state leaders are hopeful Arkansans will take the new information and vaccine availability we have this time around to avoid overwhelming hospitals.
Secretary of Health Dr. Jose Romero advising, “It's never too late to get vaccinated. If you couple your vaccination with your physical mitigation measures, you can get through this.”
We will update this article with more information as it becomes available.