As our state deals with the spread of covid-19 in the midst of a global outbreak, the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette will publish five things you need to know each week. We’ll be publishing these round-ups in English, Spanish and Marshallese. You can read our full coverage at arkansasonline.com/coronavirus/. Coronavirus coverage pertaining to crucial public health information will be available for all readers.
• Arkansas has confirmed 41,759 total cases of covid-19 since the pandemic began, according to data posted in the morning, July 31. State health officials also have reported 442 total deaths and 34,737 recoveries.
• Gov. Asa Hutchinson said July 30 that he was authorizing 14 members of the National Guard to assist the Arkansas Department of Health in operational support. Interim Health Secretary Dr. Jose Romero announced the same day that the state would stop requiring testing before elective surgeries and would leave the decision up to individual hospitals.
• The Delta Regional Unit, a state prison in Chicot County, experienced a large-scale outbreak of the virus when more than 100 prisoners tested positive, officials said July 29.
• State lawmakers on July 28 agreed to send $7 million in federal funds to Northwest Arkansas to help rein in an outbreak of the coronavirus that has caused a disproportionate number of illnesses in the region's Hispanic and Marshallese communities. The decision, a reversal of a previous vote, means the region will have more money for contact tracing in those communities.
• Arkansas will spend $10 million in federal money to buy Wi-Fi-access devices for families with school-age children, Hutchinson announced July 27.