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story.lead_photo.caption Gov. Asa Hutchinson waits to speak at his last daily coronavirus update Friday in Mena. He cautioned against overreacting to the sudden jump in cases. More photos at (Arkansas Democrat-Gazette/Stephen Swofford)

Arkansas health officials reported 596 new cases of coronavirus on Monday, on top of 45 likely new cases, as most metrics used to track the spread of the virus saw increases over the previous day.

The Arkansas Department of Health, which began reporting both likely and confirmed cases of the virus more than a week ago, has now registered a total of 76,364 cases since the pandemic reached the state in March.

The virus’ confirmed death toll in Arkansas rose by 15 on Monday, to 1,048. The Health Department also reported an additional probable death, for a total of 149.

The number of active cases -- those in which a person with the virus has not recovered or died -- rose by 21, to 6,706.

Gov. Asa Hutchinson, who is scheduled to deliver a weekly news conference on the virus on Tuesday, said the state is on track to meet its goal for both antigen and lab-confirmed tests in September.

“The Arkansas Department of Health continues to do outstanding work in identifying and tracing COVID-19 cases across the state,” the governor said. “Tomorrow, I will talk about what we should do to prepare for the winter and discuss the latest White House report.”

The Health Department reported that a total of 7,657 lab-confirmed (or PCR) tests had been reported Monday, in addition to results from 253 antigen tests.

Positive antigen test results are considered probable cases by the Health Department until they can be confirmed by further testing.

Read Tuesday's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette for full details.


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