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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters at the state Capitol in Little Rock on Thursday in this still of video provided by the governor's office.

Arkansas recorded 398 new cases of covid-19 on Thursday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, the fourth straight day of 400 or fewer new cases confirmed in the state.

Hutchinson also announced that, starting next week, his news conference updates on the virus will switch from daily to “weekly updates or as needed.”

In addition to the 398 new cases confirmed by polymerase chain reaction, or PCR, test, Hutchinson said the state also recorded 70 “probable” cases of covid-19 from positive antigen tests.

The state reports positive antigen tests as “probable” cases rather than confirmed cases, but treats positive results from antigen tests the same as those from PCR tests for the purposes of contact tracing and case investigation.

The number of patients hospitalized with the virus decreased by 19 to 392, and Department of Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero said the number of patients on a ventilator decreased by three to 79.

Hutchinson said 12 more died of the virus, bringing the toll to 940.

The number of active cases continued to trend down, reaching 5,196, Romero said. The number of recovered individuals increased by 748 to 60,668.

In the previous 24 hours 4,900 PCR tests were performed, Hutchinson said, plus 430 antigen tests.

Counties with the highest numbers of new cases included Pulaski with 72, Washington with 37 and Jefferson with 33.


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

The total number of confirmed coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas remained at 66,406 Thursday morning, according to a state website. The death toll remained at 928.

Check back to watch the live video.

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