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Posted on: May 23, 2020

Governor Press Conference 5/23/2020

Governor Hutchinson Press Conference Update graphic

Governor Hutchinson’s COVID-19 press conference updated cases which included the second highest day of positive cases with an additional 23 coming from Benton County, referred to increased testing, and discussed creating the Governor’s Technology Board. 

Governor Hutchinson Daily COVID-19 Press Conference 5/23/2020 

  • Yesterday 5,612 cases, today up 163 for a total of 5,775. 

  • Of these new cases, 160 in the community and 3 in correctional facilities two counties are Benton County 23 and Washington 20 cases. 

  • In Benton County most were in Rogers, some family clusters. Washington have been mostly in Springdale. Unknown if they are poultry plants.  

  • 1,564 Active cases- 88 in nursing homes, 509 in correctional, 967 in community 

  • 4,096 have recovered, 67 more than yesterday  

  • 3,195 tests in the last 24 hours 

  • Increase of 5 hospitalizations to 86. 

  • Additional 2 deaths up to 115. 

  • We are on an uptick for the 7-day new case rolling average. 

  • 2nd highest reports of positive cases yesterday. 

  • Currently hospitalized, on a small uptick as well, but more steady 


How should we respond with a second peak? 

  1. Recognize testing levels help us find more cases. That allows our contact tracing to be quicker and more responsive. Expanded testing means we have improved our “early radar”. 3,195 tests in the last 24 hours 

  1. Keep an eye on the hospitalization. Our main fear was that we wouldn’t have enough hospital beds that would need care. We are still in good shape now. If cases go up, but hospitalizations have less of an increase, means we are identifying those who are positive but not very ill and not require hospitalizations 

  1. Positivity rate- we are still below the 10% benchmark. It is around the 5% level. Last 24 hours was 3.5% 

  1. Watch the deaths. While it is incredibly sad, per capita, Arkansas has one of the lowest death rates in the country 

  1. We need to be disciplined in your personal safety habits. It means there are more people out there who have the virus and it can still spread.  



Pandemic unemployment assistance 

  • Increase of money flowing out 

  • 12,930 claimants 

Creating the Governor’s Technical Advisory Board- will look at new technologies  

  • Dr. Austin Porter, III chairing the Technical Advisory Board.  

  • Apps for contact tracing, help us manage and build the infrastructure that we will need for the fall. 

  • A number of technologies are available, looking into how we can utilize the contact tracing. 



  • 54866 tests done in May. Will exceed the goal of 60k tests in May.  

  • Total tests to date= 105,628.  

  • Doing targeting testing in communities. Today we are in Springdale, next week Dardanelle. Then W. Memphis, Pine Bluff, and De Queen, Jonesboro, Wrightsville, El Dorado 


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