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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson talks to reporters Thursday Oct. 7, 2020 in North Little Rock during a break in his cabinet meeting. (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Staton Breidenthal)

Arkansas recorded 680 new covid-19 cases and 24 additional deaths, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said Tuesday. Hutchinson, speaking from Hope during his weekly briefing concerning the disease, also said he’s extending Arkansas’ health emergency an additional 60 days.

In Arkansas there were 481 new cases confirmed through polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, tests, and 199 additional probable cases, which include those identified through less-sensitive antigen tests, Hutchinson said.

PCR tests for the period stood at 5,909, while antigen tests numbered 1,472.

The state saw 24 additional deaths, bringing the death toll to 1,462.

Hospitalizations declined slightly by four but 605 remained in the hospital, just under Monday’s record of 608, according to the state Department of Health. Of those hospitalized, 110 of them were on ventilators, an increase of six.

State epidemiologist Jennifer Dillaha said the number of additional patients on ventilators was worrisome as that count should be moving downward, rather than upward. Dillaha also urged Arkansans to get their flu shot to help avoid hospitalizations during the typical flu season.

Of Arkansas counties with more than 20 cases, Pulaski County ranked the highest with 56, followed by Benton County with 44, Craighead County with 32, Lonoke County with 24 and Garland County with 22, Dillaha said.

Between Oct. 4 and Oct. 10, the northeast part of the state saw an increase in cases of 7.9%, while the southeast increased by 6%, Central Arkansas increased by 5.4%, and both the northwest and southeast parts of the state increased by 5.1%.


Gov. Asa Hutchinson and state health officials will provide an update on Arkansas' covid-19 response from Hope at 1:30 p.m.

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas remained at 93,487 Thursday morning, according to a state website. The death toll remained at 1,586.

Check back to watch the live video.

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