COVID-19 cases grew by five in Union County between Friday and Saturday, according to the Arkansas Department of Health, bringing the county’s total to 171 cumulative cases.
Local recoveries increased by three in the same time period to reach 110 total, leaving 53 cases — 30.9% — active. No new deaths have been reported locally; eight Union County residents have died as a result of COVID-19, indicating a local mortality rate of 4.7%.
Arkansas saw another day with significant case growth, adding 236 COVID-19 cases to its cumulative total to break 7,000 cases (7,013 total). Another Arkansan has died as a result of the virus, bringing the state’s death toll to 133, indicating a statewide mortality rate of 1.9%.
The state’s number of recovered residents grew to 5,166, leaving 1,714 — 24.4% — active.
Tomorrow, Arkansas’s state parks, which include the South Arkansas Arboretum in El Dorado and the Arkansas Museum of Natural Resources in Smackover, will reopen for tent camping and day-use. Neither of the parks in Union County offer camping areas, though both do have meeting spaces.
Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced the closure of state park facilities on April 3. They were reopened for campers utilizing recreational vehicles May 1 and have since gradually been phasing in reopenings of the parks’ other services, like mining at the Crater of Diamonds State Park and hiking trails.
On Friday, Hutchinson announced that a technical advisory board formed to consider contact tracing technologies for his review will meet for the first time Tuesday. The Board is chaired by Dr. Austin Porter III, deputy chief science officer at the ADH, and includes officials from the Arkansas Departments of Information Systems, Health, Human Services and Commerce, as well as representatives from the University of Arkansas and the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.
“Two of the most critical tools in our ongoing efforts to stop COVID-19 are testing and finding those who have had contact with someone who is sick or who has tested positive,” reads a statement on Hutchinson’s official website. “The technology for those tasks is changing rapidly. The advisory board will review options to ensure that we are employing the best tools that will allow us to quickly mitigate the spread of the coronavirus.”
In Union County, 30 tests returned negative between Friday and Saturday, indicating a positivity rate in that time frame of 14.2%. Over 126,000 tests have been performed in Arkansas since the first COVID-19 case was identified in the state on March 11, according to the ADH; between Friday and Saturday, the positivity rate for the state was 6.5%. The overall positivity rate for the state since the pandemic began was 5.5% Saturday afternoon.
The United States’s caseload increased by about 14,000 between Friday and Saturday, putting the country’s cumulative case total at 1,759,725. Of those, 406,446 have reportedly recovered and 103,389 have died, indicating a national mortality rate of 5.8% and leaving 1.2 million cases — 71% — active.
The World Health Organization reported 5,819,962 COVID-19 cases worldwide Saturday afternoon. Of those, 362,786 have reportedly died, indicating a global mortality rate of 6.2%.