Gov. Asa Hutchinson

KATV photo

Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson on Wednesday again expressed concern over lulls in coronavirus testing but said quicker results are expected beginning next month.

The state's daily test number was reported Wednesday to be 4,519. Hutchinson, who has repeatedly called on the White House to invoke the Defense Production Act to increase testing nationwide, said that figure is "not as high as we wish it would be." The state has previously logged daily test counts higher than 8,000.

Arkansas aimed to conduct 200,000 tests this month but has lowered its goal to 180,000.

Hutchinson, speaking at a news conference in Russellville, attributed decreases in testing to commercial labs across the country being "slammed" by rising demand. But he said the White House assured him that six major commercial labs are going to "ramp up" operations in August.
State Medical Director of Immunizations Dr. Jennifer Dillaha urged those waiting on test results to isolate themselves until results are confirmed to be negative.

Arkansas reported 787 new cases of the virus Wednesday. An outbreak in Chicot County accounted for 145 of those new cases, Jennifer Dillaha said.

There were 6,506 active cases, including 80 at nursing homes. A nursing home in Newton County has reported 77 cases of the virus. Staffers were sleeping on the floor to ensure residents would continue to receive care.

The state's total number of cases was reported to be 40,968.

Six new deaths were reported Wednesday, bringing the total to 434.


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