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story.lead_photo.caption Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson speaks to reporters on Friday in this still of video provided by the governor's office.

Arkansas recorded 751 new cases of covid-19 Friday, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said, as hospitalizations climbed by eight to 402.

Of the 751 new cases, 149 were in correctional facilities.

Department of Health Secretary Dr. Nate Smith said the total number of active cases Friday was 5,847. Of those, 123 are in nursing homes, 584 are in correctional facilities and 5,140 are in the general population.

Four more Arkansans died of the virus, bringing the toll to 313, while 650 more recovered for a total so far of 20,642.

Smith said the number of patients on a ventilator increased by two to 84.

The number of tests done in the previous 24 hours rose to 5,212, returning to the lower end of the typical range seen in previous weeks after a drop off earlier recently which Hutchinson attributed in large part to the holiday weekend.

Hot Spring County saw the highest number of new cases Friday, 145, and Smith said most or all are connected to the Ouachita River Unit state prison.

Although all inmates and staff were previously tested when an initial outbreak occurred last month, Smith said some inmates who previously tested negative started recently showing symptoms, necessitating retesting.

He said this is not unexpected because testing an individual soon after their exposure can produce a false negative due to a low amount of the virus in the body.

Pulaski County saw the next highest number of new cases, 100, followed by Benton County with 54, Washington County with 51, Sebastian County with 42, Faulkner County with 25, Pope County with 25, Jefferson County with 23 and Yell County with 21.


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

The total number of coronavirus cases reported in Arkansas remained at 26,052 Friday morning, according to a state website. The death toll remained at 309.

Check back to watch the live video.

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