Its previous highest daily jump in business was just over 450 in mid-May, according to a chart presented by Hutchinson at a press conference.
“As I look into next week, I expect cases to continue to increase,” said Hutchinson. “I think it’s only natural every time we see the pattern we saw last week, especially in northwest Arkansas, I expect it to keep increasing until that we can master that and narrow that gap. ”
Arkansas has more than 3,700 active cases in the state, he said. There are now more than 200 people hospitalized on suspicion of Covid-19, and the health department has reported five more deaths since Thursday, bringing the total to 176.
“We have made more than 200 hospitalizations in Arkansas, which is significantly higher than when we were really at what I thought was the first peak in April,” said Hutchinson.
Arkansas is one of the few states to report a recent spike in the Covid-19 cases. The state is still scheduled to reopen on Monday, which will allow restaurants and other businesses to expand their capacity, Hutchinson said.
“I don’t see that what we are doing is not working. We may not be doing it well enough. I think the strategy is the right strategy, ”he said.
The state has seen no evidence that the lifting of its restrictions from the first phase correlated with an increase in the number of cases, but recommends that residents maintain social distance, said Hutchinson.
However, Hutchinson said he would not force residents to wear a face mask when venturing out in public, as it would not be enforceable and “it’s just not Arkansas.”
Many health experts have stated that wearing a face covering can reduce the spread of Covid-19, and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests wearing a face cover to reduce asymptomatic transmission among family members and in nursing homes and other facilities.
The CDC warned on Friday that states may have to reimplement the stringent social distancing measures that had been in place earlier this year if coronavirus cases in the United States increase “dramatically”. However, the agency has not specified what would be considered a significant increase in cases and has left decision-making to local areas for the time being.
“Unless you are in the vulnerable age group or have health problems, we must be excluded, we must do our business, we must live life, just do it safely and carefully Said Hutchinson.